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The Fox News Channel may be one of the most popular cable channels we have, but that doesn't mean the network has been immune to controversy, especially in the last few years. Now, the network has had to investigate yet another employee for allegations of sexual misconduct, and had to take action to fire Ed Henry after investigating the claims.
The network announced that allegations of sexual misconduct were brought against Ed Henry, former chief White House correspondent and America’s Newsroom anchor, late in June, and after having an outside law firm investigate, Henry was fired. Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and president Jay Wallace penned a memo to the staff this morning (via The Hollywood Reporter) to explain the situation and the steps which were taken. Here's what they had to say about the allegations:
On Thursday, June 25, we received a complaint about Ed Henry from a former employees’s [sic] attorney involving willful sexual misconduct in the workplace years ago. We immediately retained an outside law firm (which has never represented Fox News in investigations or litigation) to independently investigate the claims. Ed was suspended the same day and immediately removed from his on-air responsibilities pending investigation. Based on investigative findings, Ed has been terminated.
Ed Henry left CNN in June of 2011 to become the Chief White House Correspondent for the Fox News Channel, which was the same position he filled at his former network. During his time with Fox News he sometimes filled in as a guest co-host of Fox and Friends Weekend and was the chief national correspondent. In 2016, Henry was briefly taken off the air after reports of an alleged extramarital affair came out. The channel will now use a rotating group of anchors to fill Henry's seat at America's Newsroom, and co-host alongside Sandra Smith, until they're able to find a permanent replacement for him.
The memo also made sure to reiterate the company's sexual harassment policies and procedures, and encouraged those with sexual misconduct, harassment, or discrimination complaints to come forward as soon as possible "as we have said repeatedly over the last four years." Of course, those sexual harassment procedures were implemented in the wake of mass allegations against the late former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, which came to light in the summer of 2016.
Former anchor Gretchen Carlson filed suit against Ailes, and claimed that her firing was due to her repeatedly rebuffing his sexual advances and comments of a sexual nature. Her suit claimed that her responsibilities, profile, compensation and ability to work on high profile stories at the network were continually reduced as she refused Ailes' attempts at a sexual relationship with her. In the months following Carlson's lawsuit, more allegations against Ailes (and others executives at Fox News, as well as popular anchors like Bill O'Reilly) kept coming.