While Fox News manages to find itself in the midst of more sexual harassment allegations against its former founder and CEO Roger Ailes, another network is using this tabloid-esque narrative to its advantage for an upcoming episode of Law & Order: SVU.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the episode ‘The Newsroom’ which airs in April on NBC, sees “Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Barba (Raúl Esparza) ask witnesses to put their jobs on the line after a news anchor (Somerville) makes an on-air disclosure of rape against her boss.” Christopher McDonald plays Bonnie Somerville’s boss, and Mark Moses will play Somerville’s co-anchor.
Somerville has appeared on Friends, and Code Black. McDonald’s work includes Thelma and Louise, Ballers, and The Good Wife. Moses’ credits include The Last Ship and Homeland.
Since allegations against Ailes broke news last year, several projects have been adapted, notably a scripted film, The Big Short, and the short-lived series Secure And Hold: The Last Days Of Roger Ailes by Blumhouse productions.
The Hollywood Reporter referenced a New York Times report alleging “the network had paid out around $13 million in settlements to women who had accused longtime anchor Bill O’Reilly of sexual harassment.” One of O’Reilly’s previous show guests, Wendy Walsh has called for an independent investigation, after she claims the O’Reilly Factor host made advances, and invited her to his hotel room. With the investigation taking shape in true Ailes form, advertisers like Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai have ‘reallocated’ their TV campaigns from O’Reilly’s prime-time show.
Last year, Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson settled in court for an undisclosed amount of money against Roger Ailes, the former chairman and CEO of the network. Ailes left the network in July 2016. Since Carlson’s allegations, other women within the network have come forward to make claims against the former CEO, including most recently on Monday, a Fox News correspondent, Julie Roginsky.
Whiles Ailes involvement with network employees has instigated fictional TV episodes, the network’s new head of human resources, Kevin Lord released this statement urging employees to notify any instances of inappropriate behavior to the department execs and HR, “Particularly in light of some of the accounts published over the last few days, I wanted to re-emphasize the message we have been conveying at our training sessions for several months,” The New York Times reports.