Today, Fox News ended its professional affiliation with Bill O'Reilly over various complaints of sexual harassment from his female colleagues.
For those of you who do not know this man, Bill O'Reilly is famous for his work as being one of the highest paid and also most popular television personalities on Fox News. His views tend to lean toward the right of the political spectrum, however he has also authored a few best selling books and in the past has made appearances on famous political satire shows like the Daily Show and the Colbert Report.
The announcement today has brought forward many parallels to what was witnessed during the Gian Ghomeshi trial in Toronto not too long ago. Ghomeshi was also a popular personality in Canadian media and like O'Reilly faced similar parallels when dropped by CBC.
While this news is a good sign for the movement to bring more justice forward for victims of sexual harassment, it also shows how fragile a media personality can be, when it comes to public image and acts of vice.
No one should have any sympathy for famous individuals who abuse their power and are found in a court of law to have actually committed a crime. While no jury has officially condemned O'Reilly, the very fact that suspicion and cause has been raised was enough to allow Fox to axe him.
Gian Ghomeshi has now begun hosting a new podcast as of late and has naturally witnessed some further backlash from the trial, even though he was acquitted of any criminal wrong doing.
The importance of protecting victims and also anyone deemed vulnerable is nothing new in society and more recently, we are witnessing more attention paid to the individuals who have been wronged by all kinds of violence. Whether justice has been served is based on the eye of the beholder, but one thing is for sure, many individuals in both the media and political sphere, need to ensure they watch their step to avoid a public backlash.
To further the topic of women and sexual harassment in the workplace, one might even further compare O'Reilly to Donald Trump and ask why a similar outcome did not occur with him? If anything, the current president of the United States, was accused by multiple women and also caught on various media formats expressing his lack of respect toward women in general. He not only won the election, but was deemed a savior among his support base, while both Ghomeshi and O'Reilly have experienced the exact opposite.
At the end of the day, the sad reality remains that if you are an individual of social stature and immense wealth, the laws of our society no longer apply to you as they do the common man. We have individuals in government that disrespect the rules and in many cases get away with little to no retribution (Think Mike Duffy), while others who have a following in the media or are considered a part of the 99%,become tarred and feathered simply by word of mouth.
I will be following the O'Reilly case in the coming months to see what actually occurs from the accusations and what results we are left with. I doubt Bill will have much trouble later on, as much of his base is similar to those who supported Donald Trump and as such will eat up any excuse to take attention off of those who have accused him of sexual harassment.
It is important to always remember that questioning authority and our government is the only way to bring any true change to fruition. If we continue to follow blindly and allow others to decipher the information we receive on a daily basis, we as a people essentially open up the possibility of losing more freedom to distraction and overall ignorance.
If the court deems that O'Reilly was in fact in the wrong and committed a crime, he should be held accountable for his actions like any other individual within society.
Until Next Time!