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More advertisers say they have ditched Fox's O'Reilly show

06 April 2017

The move from the companies has come in response to a report from the New York Times which claims that over the course of several years settlements totaling $13m had been reached with five women who accused the presenter of inappropriate behavior, including sexual harassment and verbal abuse.

Allstate spokesman Justin Herndon said: "Inclusivity and support for women are important Allstate values".

In a statement, Hyundai said it wanted to work with companies that "share our values of inclusion and diversity".

The automakers Hyundai, BMW and Mitsubishi, the financial firm T Rowe Price, the personal finance site Credit Karma, the insurer Allstate, the drugmakers Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, the pet food company Ainsworth, the men's shirt seller Untuckit, and the online marketing firm Constant Contact said Tuesday that they had joined Mercedes-Benz in pulling their ads from the show.

The O'Reilly Factor is the most widely viewed USA cable news show, with an average of 3.98 million viewers in early 2017, according to Adweek.

Fox News said it was looking into the controversy and working to restore relations with advertisers.

Fox News is just months removed from the ousting of chairman Roger Ailes amid many allegations that he pressured female colleagues into sexual relationships and now may have another major scandal with Bill O'Reilly.

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Earlier this week, current Fox contributor Julie Roginsky filed another lawsuit against Ailes, Fox News and Bill Shine, the network's co-president, asserting that she faced retaliation for rebuffing Ailes's sexual advances and for refusing to disparage Carlson.

At a press conference on Monday, the attorney Lisa Bloom, who is representing one of the accusers featured in the Times' report, took issue with O'Reilly's claim to be a "target" of lawsuits. Wendy Walsh, a California-based psychologist and former television news reporter and anchor, auditioned on the air for a paid slot with a recurring role - "a very big opportunity", in her words.

O'Reilly has yet to respond to the latest allegations.

Celebrities have used social media to ask Fox News to take action against the host, including comedian Patton Oswalt and Bette Midler.

"But most importantly, I'm a father who cares deeply for my children and who would do anything to avoid hurting them in any way. My primary efforts will continue to be to put forth an honest TV program and to protect those close to me". "We want to give you every opportunity to be heard through a vehicle of your choice, so that we can attempt to address your concerns promptly and confidentially".

But last summer's forced departure of Ailes, who has vigorously denied the charges against him, was a step into the unknown for Fox.