HLN Anchors Commend Gretchen Carlson, Call Roger Ailes Accusations "Eye-Opening"
A trio of female newscasters sound off on sexual harassment claims in TV news: "We've all witnessed some sort of something."
HLN brought out three anchors at Sunday's gathering of the Television Critics Association's summer press tour, where the Turner-owned channel clearly wanted to further distinguish itself from sibling CNN. The first question, however, was about another network.
Robin Meade, Michaela Pereira and Erica Hill were asked to offer their take on Gretchen Carlson's sexual harassment lawsuit against (now former) Fox News chief Roger Ailes — and his subsequent stepping down from the dominant cable news institution after more women came forward.
"To know that someone else claims that they went through that, it's eye-opening," said Meade, who added that she'd never encountered sexual harassment coming up in local news or at HLN. "It's infuriating to know someone would make you feel your talent wasn't enough and that you would somehow need to supplement it."
Pereira, who anchors Michaela after coming over from CNN, admitted that she's been aware of similar situations. "Early in my career, we all witnessed some sort of something," she said. "You couldn't put your finger on it."
She also praised Carlson. "I think it takes a great deal of courage to do what she did," she added. "It's not a comfortable position to put yourself. I commend her for having the hutzpah to be able to speak up. She represents a lot of women."
Carlson filed suit against Ailes on July 6, shortly after he contract with Fox News Channel was not renewed. FNC's parent company began an internal investigation into her claims, which prompted more accusers to come forward. Ailes was out at the network about two weeks later.
"If nothing else comes out of this, I hope it gets a conversation started," said Hill. "I hope it makes everybody think."