Fox News’ parent company, 21st Century Fox, used the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape in which President Donald Trump bragged about groping women without their consent in seminars on workplace harassment, a spokesperson confirmed to TPM on Friday.
An anonymous employee who attended one of the workshops Tuesday on Fox’s studio lot in Los Angeles told The Hollywood Reporter, which broke this story, that gasps were heard around the room when the clip was aired.
“They went through the scenario of the tape, why it was harassment and why it’s something you should report,” the employee said, according to the report. “There was an audible gasp in the room, like, ‘Can you believe this is happening?'”
In the clip, Trump bragged to Billy Bush, then the host of “Access Hollywood,” about being able to “do anything” he wanted to women, including grabbing them “by the pussy” and forcibly kissing them, because of his fame.
Trump apologized for the comments, which he and his defenders justified as “locker room talk.” Shortly after his administration declared April Sexual Harassment Awareness Month, Trump defended Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, who has reportedly settled lawsuits with at least five women for some $13 million over sexual harassment or other abusive behavior.
Calling him “a good person,” Trump told the New York Times, “I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”
Fox News CEO Roger Ailes was forced to resign last year amid mounting allegations that he’d sexually harassed and intimidated former anchor Gretchen Carlson and other women at the network for years.
A human resources executive joked during the Tuesday workshop that the department handles all Fox properties except Fox News, and that was why the presentation couldn’t include information about Ailes or O’Reilly, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
A Fox News spokesperson referred TPM to 21st Century Fox for comment. A 21st Century Fox spokesman declined to comment on the record, but confirmed that the clip is used as part of the company’s routine workplace harassment seminars.