Former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson wants to change the way nondisclosure agreements are used.
In an op-ed published Thursday night in The New York Times, Carlson said that when she settled her 2016 retaliation and sexual harassment complaint against Roger Ailes, the late Fox News chairman and CEO, she signed a nondisclosure agreement, which prevents her from talking about her experiences at the network. Nondisclosure agreements were "originally designed to safeguard the sharing of proprietary corporate information (think the formula for Coca-Cola), not to protect predatory behavior," she writes, and her NDA with Fox News has essentially "forced" her into silence.
Two 2019 projects — the movie Bombshell and the Showtime limited series The Loudest Voice — focus on Carlson and other Fox News employees who filed harassment claims, but because of the NDA, she "cannot consult with filmmakers, writers, journalists, or anyone else telling my story ... nor can I comment on the accuracy of a final product." Carlson wants her "voice back," she said. "I want it back for me, and for all those silenced by forced arbitration and NDAs."
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
NBC recently announced it will release former employees from their nondisclosure agreements, and Carlson hopes Fox News will follow suit. "We have a right to say what is factually correct or incorrect about what happened," she said. "We have a right to our voices and our truths. I urge executives at Fox to do what's right and take this step today."
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.