In the weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election, the Washington Post published a 2005 video of then-Republican candidate Donald Trump on the set of Days of Our Lives. The clip featured Trump detailing his preferred method for sexually assaulting women.
“Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it,” Trump revealed to interviewer Billy Bush. “You can do anything… grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”
In the wake of the statements, Bush was fired from his post at NBC’s Today show, and Trump secured the necessary 270 electoral votes to become America’s 45th President. According to at least one Fox employee, Trump’s 2005 statements are being repurposed in a surprising fashion.
“For the past few months, 21st Century Fox has been using the infamous Donald Trump Access Hollywood tape during company seminars to give Fox staffers an example of bad behavior in the workplace,” wrote Chris Gardner of The Hollywood Reporter.
If the reports are true, it’s a curious choice, given Fox’s recent legal troubles with its own high-profile employees being accused of sexually harassing women at the company. On April 1, the New York Times reported noted Trump backer Bill O’Reilly has paid over $13 million to settle various sexual harassment suits. O’Reilly’s flagship program The O'Reilly Factor has reportedly seen its national advertisers shrink from 60 down to 10.
Founder and former Chairman and CEO of Fox News Roger Ailes resigned from his post in July of 2016 roughly two weeks after former Fox host Gretchen Carlson said in a lawsuit that Ailes sexually harassed her during her time at the network.
O’Reilly and other Fox News personalities, such as Sean Hannity, dismissed Trump’s boasts as mere “locker room talk,” opening the door to speculation that Fox’s reported stance on sexual assault doesn’t match up with the network’s history.
Fox has declined to publicly speak on the matter, and in recent days, President Trump came out in support of O’Reilly while also releasing an official White House statement proclaiming April 2017 as National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.