The sexual harassment allegations against former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes will be made into a movie written by renowned “The Big Short” writer Charles Randolph and feature the stories of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson. Ailes was forced to resign from Fox News in 2016 after numerous sexual harassment allegations surfaced against the CEO, spearheaded by Carlson and corroborated by Kelly.
The story of former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes was a news sensation in 2016 after numerous women came forward to accuse Ailes of sexual assault spanning decades. Ailes had been involved in television since the 1960s and left a trail of female accusers in his wake. Washington Post reported that the accusers dated back to 1963 during Ailes’ time on “The Mike Douglas Show.”
One accuser, an 18-year-old model in 1963, said Ailes forcefully kissed her during an audition then said, “I need you to be receptive. We only hire girls who are cooperative.” That pattern of workplace sexual assault allegedly continued throughout Ailes’ expansive career.
The allegations against Ailes came to the forefront in the summer of 2016 when Fox News host Gretchen Carlson reported that Ailes had subjected her to sexual harassment and psychological torment for years during her time at Fox. Carlson alleged that Ailes punished her for not submitting to his abuse when Carlson lost her co-host job in 2013.
After Carlson’s job changed at Fox, she confronted Ailes who allegedly told the former Fox News host, “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago, and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better.”
Ailes was forced to resign from Fox News amid sexual assault allegations in the summer of 2016, but he went on to aide Donald Trump’s team during the 2016 campaign. Although Ailes left under sexual assault allegations, Fox gave Ailes 40 million dollars in severance pay, according to Huffington Post.
According to the Daily Mail, popular news correspondent Megyn Kelly will also be featured in the currently untitled Randolph project about Ailes ouster from Fox. Kelly played a large part in Ailes eventual exit from Fox after the Fox News reporter spoke with internal investigators about the sexual assault allegations lobbed at Ailes.
Kelly apparently played an integral part in Ailes departure from Fox. “Settle For More,” Kelly’s recently released memoir, details how she kept records of Ailes sexual harassment, which she eventually turned over to internal investigators. Kelly’s memoir also alleges that Ailes’ tried to intimidate the Fox News star into staying quiet.
During a book tour interview with Dr. Phil Kelly commented about Ailes, “In my mind I had attributed it to he was interested in me, that he was having a marital difficulty, perhaps he was just interested in having an extramarital affair. It was very on the nose and then it culminated in a physical attempt to be with me which I rejected in his office. He tried to kiss me three times, so I rejected that and when I rejected that he asked me when my contract was up.”
Kelly has continued to work at Fox News after Ailes was fired and has enjoyed success as a political pundit and author. Details are scant about Randolph’s Kelly-Ailes film and there is no indication who will play Kelly’s character at this time.
Randolph, a three-time Oscar nominee, shopped around the pitch to various production companies this week, but the Ailes-Kelly movie was picked up by Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, Variety reported. Randolph’s work is best known for 2015’s “The Big Short” featuring Ryan Gosling and Christian Bale. The Oscar winning film detailed the events leading up to the 2008 financial collapse and has been praised for detailing complex market strategies to the general public.
Annapurna Pictures is still looking for a director for the yet unnamed Kelly-Ailes movie. There is also another television production in the works based on the same story unrelated to the Randolph, Annapurna Pictures production.
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