Lisa Bloom, who helped to expose alleged harassment at Fox News, urges Ofcom to kill the deal: This is a company that made choices against womens rights
The lawyer who has helped to expose the alleged sexual harassment at Fox News, ending the career of the star anchor Bill OReilly, has warned that the battle over workplace discrimination is far from over. I hate to break it to you. Unfortunately, I dont think we are going to age out of this problem, said Lisa Bloom.
Bloom, who has been defending women in the workplace for 30 years and represents three women now suing Fox for sexual harassment, says many things have changed over her career. People are far less accepting today of this kind of behaviour. If we get to a jury, we are going to do very well. Most companies, when you call them out on bad behaviour, are going to want to negotiate with us and give my client a good settlement and rectify the situation. Attitudes have changed, but there is still a great deal of work that needs to be done, she told the Guardian.
But there is still plenty of appalling behaviour out there. Silicon Valley has shown that sexism is alive and well for a younger generation of brogrammers at Uber and other companies. And Bloom, founder of the Los Angeles-based Bloom Firm, is not expecting her company to run out of cases as ageing baby boomers retire from the workforce.
But Bloom holds a special animus for Fox News and Rupert Murdochs 21st Century Fox. The media company is not a fit and proper company to take over Sky, the UKs satellite TV giant, according to the lawyer.
Bloom was in London last week to address the UK media regulator Ofcom as it considers 21st Century Foxs bid to take full control of Sky. Bloom was accompanied by Dr Wendy Walsh, one of three women Bloom currently represents who have accused OReilly of sexual harassment and the company of attempting to cover up the scandal.
Bloom agreed to keep details of the discussions with the regulator confidential, but said she and her client were listened to respectfully, and they are taking the matter seriously.
The UK has been a world leader on womens rights. I think when the UK has a choice to make between womens equality and corporate greed, they are going to stand with womens equality and say this company is not fit and proper to expand its interests in the UK, Bloom told the Guardian.
The parent company may be called 21st Century Fox, but they behave more like 19th Century Fox, said Bloom. This is a company that over and over again, when no one was watching them, made choices against womens rights. They made choices to stand with the perpetrators of sexual harassment, said Bloom.
Blooms view echoed that of the lawyer Doug Wigdor, who also met Ofcom last week. Wigdor, acting for 21 current and former Fox News employees, said 21st Century Foxs takeover of Sky should be blocked until allegations of sexual and racial harassment at Fox News had been resolved. He also called for 21st Century Fox to lift gagging orders on victims of harassment and discrimination at Fox News who reached settlements with the company over the last decade.