The most powerful women in media gathered Friday at Variety’s Power of Women: New York event, and “Extra’s” AJ Calloway was with them all! Many of the women sounded-off on the Bill O’Reilly scandal and what it stands for.
Gretchen Carlson, the former Fox News anchor who was the original whistleblower regarding sexual harassment at the network with her shocking claims against former CEO Roger Ailes, started the ball rolling. She told AJ that making her accusations against Ailes last year felt like, “I jumped off a cliff by myself.” As for what the attention has meant for her, Carlson said, “I have been so inspired by all the other women who are speaking up. It’s been an incredibly emotional experience for me, mainly because I never thought I was gonna be the face of this issue.”
Carlson did not comment on Bill’s scandal, which led to his exit, saying, “I can't specifically comment on that.”
Stars like Blake Lively, however, shared their reactions to the news that O'Reilly will not be back on Fox News. She said, “Hooray! Are you kidding? That's amazing. That’s amazing and it’s… such is the power of women.” Lively went on to say, “You know, men need to stand for women just as women need to stand for women.”
Jessica Chastain also noted the power of women, emphasizing, “That is our collective action right there. For me, the whole thing started with the Women's March — that was when we really put talk into action. You could see how powerful a movement was when everyone works together.“
"CBS This Morning’s" Gayle King, who was recognized with the Karma Award at the luncheon, pointed out, “It's the type of thing, AJ, that people thought would never happen. They made the decision, it seems, that the rights of women are more important than ratings and any one person, and I think that was a very — dare I use the word? — powerful message to send.”
Model Ashley Graham said, “I mean, if anybody's gonna sexually harass a woman, it's time for them to leave.”
Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey also chimed in, telling AJ, “I'm happy to see that changes are being made but frankly, what went on is unacceptable.”