The carmaker’s decision Monday to withdraw its ads from “The O’Reilly Factor” came after a New York Times investigation revealed that O’Reilly, 67, and the network had paid $13 million to settle complaints from five women.
One accuser, Wendy Walsh, who’d been a recurring guest, said O’Reilly broke a promise to help her get a paid position at Fox News after she declined an invitation to join him in a hotel room. Other accusations against O’Reilly included making inappropriate phone calls and unwanted advances, according to The Times.
“The allegations are disturbing and, given the importance of women in every aspect of our business, we don’t feel this is a good environment in which to advertise our products right now,” Mercedes-Benz spokeswoman Donna Boland told CNN, which first reported the company’s decision.
O’Reilly has denied the harassment allegations and said that, as a prominent person, he’s susceptible to baseless charges.
The Mercedes advertising reserved for O’Reilly’s hit nightly program has been “reassigned,” according to BuzzFeed.
Lexus officials told CNN that they are monitoring developments but have not decided to cancel its commercials on “The O’Reilly Factor.”
The accusations of sexual misconduct at Fox News extends beyond O’Reilly’s reported behavior. Fox News has been under a cloud of controversy since last summer, when current and former network personalities including Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly accused Fox News founder and chairman Roger Ailes of sexual harassment. Ailes received $40 million as part of an agreement to step down.
Mercedes-Benz and Fox News did not immediately respond to The Huffington Post’s requests for comment.