Gretchen Carlson, the former Fox News anchor whose sexual harassment lawsuit against former network chief Roger Ailes is now the subject of the movie Bombshell, insists she tried to push back against producers who she says made her say controversial things during her tenure as a cohost on Fox & Friends.
During her roughly decadelong tenure as the woman cohost on Fox News' conservative morning show, Carlson made several anti-gay and anti-trans remarks and played a role in spreading a racist conspiracy theory about Barack Obama being Muslim. But she also broke with right-wing ideology when she came out in favor of an assault weapons ban in 2016.
Appearing on BuzzFeed News' morning show AM to DM on Wednesday to promote her recent work campaigning against nondisclosure agreements for victims of sexual harassment, Carlson was asked what she would say to people who felt alienated by her many years of controversial statements on Fox News.
"Well, listen, just look at my track record over the last three and a half years and all the work I've been doing on behalf of women," she began. "This has become my mission."
"And with regard to Fox News, listen, we all have producers in the morning who set the agenda, and there are many times that you don't agree with what you're going to be saying that particular day," she said. "And you pick your battles."
Carlson, who has said she has always identified as an independent, added, "I think if you look back on my past history, you will see I had many small protests along the way."
"I did what I could," she said. "I had to be very careful."
Carlson previously told BuzzFeed News in August that she no longer watched Fox News.
Carlson appeared on AM to DM on Wednesday with Julie Roginsky, a liberal former Fox News employee with whom Carlson began the Lift Our Voices campaign, a nonprofit initiative to end the practice of having employees who have faced sexual misconduct sign nondisclosure agreements.
The former anchor has been back in the headlines recently, not only for her NDA nonprofit, but because of the film Bombshell, in which she is portrayed by Nicole Kidman.
Though she is prevented from commenting on specifics about the movie due to her NDA with the network, Carlson — who has not seen the project — offered a general statement about the film, saying, "Hollywood takes liberties with storylines so I'm expecting to see a lot of things that aren't accurate."
"But I've had to take the high road and just say that big picture — it's just great that we're continuing to have this dialogue," she said. "And even if one more woman comes forward as the result of seeing these projects then that makes it worth it."