News anchor Alisyn Camerota says the sexual harassment she and other women endured at Fox News was just the tip of the iceberg.
"Certainly, there is sexual harassment and it is unpleasant, and it was certainly unpleasant to be on the receiving end of that," Camerota, now a cohost on CNN's New Day, said on BuzzFeed News' Profile. "But even on the days when that wasn't happening, there was an all-powerful man who held the keys to your future in his palm and who wielded power in a really sort of unpleasant, bullying way."
Camerota, 52, first spoke out in 2017 about the abuse and harassment from former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, who resigned after former anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit alleging that she had been fired for turning down his sexual advances.
At least 20 other women later came forward with allegations of sexual harassment. Ailes died in May 2017 at age 77.
Camerota spent more than a decade at Fox News as a reporter and weekend anchor before moving to CNN in 2014.
After she left, she told CNN in an interview that Ailes would be "grossly inappropriate" with the way he talked and hugged her, and that once when she asked for more opportunity at the network, he told her they would need to get closer outside of the office, like at a hotel.
"The sexual harassment was the least of it," Camerota told Profile host Audie Cornish. "There was sexual harassment and there was emotional harassment. And there was sort of bullying and there was ideological harassment."
Ailes argued that she was not politically conservative enough for the network and wanted her to ask questions that weren't "fact-based," she added.
"The things that stick with me are leading by fear and leading by bullying, and I hope that tide is turning," she said.
The New Day host said that she was unsure of how new Fox News boss Suzanne Scott was doing in the post-Ailes era, but pointed out that she, "as did everybody," did Roger’s bidding.
"It was very hard to stand up to him," she said.
The other top man at Fox News, Bill O'Reilly, was also forced out after a series of sexual harassment allegations and multimillion-dollar settlements became public.
Looking back, Camerota said she was so frustrated that the other women who'd been harassed and bullied, including Megyn Kelly, had not all known what was happening at the time because he encouraged the talent to be competitive.
"He kept everyone sort of silent and secretive," Camerota said. "And afterwards, when it started to come out, many of us had conversations of, 'Lesson learned — from now on we will talk to each other.'
"Imagine the strength that we all would have had if we’d locked arms and marched into HR, or locked arms and marched into his office and said, 'No more.'"
Since the Fox News upheaval, other media companies have also seen high-level executives and talent felled by allegations of sexual misconduct. Most recently, CBS CEO Les Moonves stepped down from the network after the New Yorker published a story in which six women alleged he sexually harassed them. Veteran news anchors Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer also lost their jobs after women came forward with allegations of misconduct.
"I hope it’s generational. I hope that this is a generation of men — all in the Harvey Weinstein age, Roger Ailes was a little older — that they are becoming extinct, one way or another," Camerota said.