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Harassment settlements add up for media companies

21st Century Fox has settled a group of broad-ranging gender and racial discrimination claims against its Fox News unit, paying the accusers around $10 million.

Here’s the New York Times coverage of the case, which was brought by employment lawyer Douglas Wigdor. The lawyer represented some but not all of the former employees that were seeking damages against the network.

According to the Times, Wigdor had sought a number initially as large as the payments made to former Fox News chief Roger Ailes, who received $40 million, and former anchor Bill O’Reilly, who received $25 million, to exit the network. 

Harassment allegations can be an expensive business. Netflix wrote down $39 million on projects that had to be dumped because of allegations against Kevin Spacey.

The accusations against Harvey Weinstein cost him his company, which is in bankruptcy. Former New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman had sought a victims fund of $40 million from the potential buyers of the Weinstein Company.

A member of the National Organization for Women has argued that Schneiderman, who now faces his own accusers of sexual battery, should donate his $8.5 million political war chest to aide victims of harassment. Spacey, Weinstein and Schneiderman have denied the claims against them.