Gretchen Carlson Opens Up About Life After Bringing Down Roger Ailes
"I felt if I didn't do it, who was going to?" she tells Vanity Fair.
Gretchen Carlson filed her sexual-harassment lawsuit against Fox News CEO Roger Ailes a little over a year ago. Since then, several other women, empowered by Carlson’s public stand, came forward to tell their stories, and ultimately, Ailes, Bill O’Reilly and Fox Co-President Bill Shine were all fired.
Carlson sat down with Vanity Fair to discuss becoming a woman’s rights activist and her life after the lawsuit. Her book, Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back, comes out next month. According to Carlson, it is about why women tend not to come forward right away when dealing with harassment. She is not planning to promote the book on Fox News, and was disappointed that Bill O’Reilly, who was fired because of claims of sexual harassment, would be “given a venue to come back on as a guest.”
The former Fox & Friends host told Vanity Fair that every day has been surreal since she initiated the lawsuit. She said that she “felt a duty to try and make something of it” because women have been silenced about this issue for too long. One thing that she has been thinking about a lot since the lawsuit is what about the single mom who’s suffering from sexual harassment and is working a minimum wage job, or multiple jobs? How can she come forward?
To face this issue, Carlson joined forces with the nonprofit All In Together to create the Gretchen Carlson Leadership Initiative. Carlson told Vanity Fair that she is proud to announce they are kicking off a yearlong program. It is a nine-city tour, and in each city there are workshops that will educate women “underprivileged women on domestic violence and sexual-harassment prevention,” as well as how to be more involved in politics.
Carlson has teamed up with prominent liberals like Senators Al Franken and Richard Blumenthal to advocate for legislation that would ban forced arbitration, Vanity Fair writes. This would allow women to sue over sexual harassment in open court. Currently, Carlson thinks forced arbitration is to blame for why some people think we have come further than we have in terms of sexual-harassment. Most cases are settled in secret, so no one knows how many of them there are. Carlson really wants this to be a bipartisan effort she told Vanity Fair, and has been meeting with people from both parties.
Carlson disagrees with Trump’s statement that if his daughter Ivanka was being harassed at work, he hopes she would find a new profession. Carlson told Vanity Fair, “that’s not how we solve the problem.”
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