“A lot of times people just want the salacious details of a sexual harassment case but really the pain and agony comes in what happens when they don’t go along with it or complain about it,” reveals Gretchen Carlson about the ramifications towards people who come forward about sexual harassment. In our recent webchat (watch the video above or listen to the audio below), Carlson adds, “The retaliation is so severe and psychologically damaging to the point where these women will either quit their jobs or just move on and that’s just like passing along the problem.”
Carlson was an on-air personality at Fox News beginning in the early 2000’s before becoming a co-anchor on “Fox & Friends” and eventually getting her own daytime program “The Real Story” in 2013. Shortly after her contract expired in July of 2016, she filed a lawsuit against former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes claiming he had sexually harassed her. After several other women came forward with similar claims, Ailes resigned from the network later that month. Carlson is now using her platform to bring light to instances of workplace sexual harassment with the Lifetime documentary, “Gretchen Carlson: Breaking the Silence,” which is in this year’s Emmy hunt for the documentary/informational categories.
Since her story came to light almost three years ago, Carlson has been contacted by several companies that were willing to take serious action in addressing the problems of workplace harassment. “Microsoft actually stepped up to the plate without being forced to and said, ‘We’re going to take arbitration clauses out of our contracts because we believe in providing a more open and transparent work environment.'” Carlson has been working on legislation that would void arbitration clauses in employee contracts regarding sexual harassment which forces such matters to be addressed behind closed doors rather than being able to be addressed in court.
While many of the cases that Carlson covered in her documentary are still in the legal process, she was able to share positive news about Karla Amezola. Amezola worked at the Estrella TV network as a journalist and was fired after going to human resources to complain about being harassed by her boss and even filing a lawsuit. Shortly after her firing she won an Emmy for Best Serious News Story – Multi-Part Report, the first one ever for Estella TV. “I am so happy to say that Telemundo has hired her!” Carlson adds, “I am so happy for her because she was running out of money, living with friends and had no where to go. She is a total success story.”
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