The veteran television executive who’s credited with giving Roger Ailes his start is facing allegations of sexual harassment, according to a statement he released today.
Woody Fraser says in his statement that attorney Lisa Bloom has threatened to go public on behalf of two clients with accusations of sexual harassment, claiming he created a hostile work environment.
Fraser, 82, created “The Mike Douglas Show” back in 1961.
“Early on, Fraser hired Ailes as a young segment producer. Ailes would later apply his TV talents to Richard Nixon’s 1968 presidential campaign, and go on to be a titan in Republican media,” Variety reports. “Fraser had a remarkable career of his own, producing ‘The Dick Cavett Show,’ ‘Good Morning America,’ ‘The Richard Simmons Show’ and many more. Most recently, Fraser was the executive producer of ‘Huckabee’ on Fox News.”
Fraser got the jump on a potential media circus by releasing his statement ahead of any public action by Bloom.
“In a few days, on behalf of two of her clients, attorney Lisa Bloom may go public and accuse me of sexual harassment claiming that I have created a hostile workplace environment,” he says in today’s statement. “I believe this media-driven event is part of a calculated attempt to ruin my reputation after I refused to settle these accusations in an amount she demanded. Like many others, I would have preferred resolving things quietly, even though I engaged in no actionable conduct.”
His statement adds: “I am 82 years old and am considered by some to be the ‘father’ of modern daytime talk shows. I have discovered talent in many people in many places, including waiters and waitresses who served me in restaurants, like Richard Simmons. I am well-known in the television industry as a human rights advocate and I am the only television producer who has been nominated multiple times for the Directors Guild of America Diversity Award for being a leader in advancing woman and minorities in television. I and my wife, Noreen Fraser, co-founded ‘Stand Up To Cancer’ a charity that has revolutionized breast cancer research. My wife Noreen succumbed to this horrible disease in late March of this year, just weeks prior to my receiving Ms. Bloom’s demand letter.”
He also refers to Bloom’s actions as “an attempt to label me the next ‘Roger Ailes.'” Please click here to read Fraser’s full statement.