The original co-host of Britt McHenry’s Fox Nation streaming television show was removed and shifted to his own solo program following a sexual harassment complaint made by McHenry, according to a new report from The Daily Beast.
McHenry and former WWE wrestler Tyrus (real name George Murdoch) started a show called Un-PC on Fox News’s streaming platform last November. You have not heard of it, but that’s okay, because it’s already undergone an important change: Tyrus was quietly replaced by someone named Tom Shillue back in mid-April, no formal explanation was given, and the show kept right on chugging along. Tyrus, meanwhile, was given his own Fox Nation show, called NUFFSAID.
The Daily Beast reported last week that Tyrus left Un-PC as the result of “a personal dispute,” arising from “a complaint” made by McHenry. Fox News declined to comment on the matter, but the network continued to give Tyrus appearances across its “opinion shows,” suggesting that perhaps the split came down to something as benign as a garden-variety personality conflict. But today’s report clears up the ambiguity:
[M]ultiple sources have confirmed to The Daily Beast that the dispute centered around McHenry’s contention that Tyrus had, on multiple occasions, sent her unwanted and unsolicited text messages with lewd, sexual comments.
McHenry’s complaint to management about the eccentric Fox personality wasn’t all that surprising to some of his colleagues. Two sources who have worked at Fox News told The Daily Beast that Tyrus has long had a reputation for regularly making off-color or “politically incorrect” remarks or jokes. “He’s got a wild sense of humor, if we’re being generous,” one current female Fox employee said.
Other than the surprise of learning that the ex-professional wrestler chosen to co-host a show called Un-PC is fond of making inappropriate, “politically incorrect” remarks, what stands out about this report is Fox’s questionable handling of a sexual harassment complaint made by a woman against her on-air co-host. Unsolicited text messages with “lewd, sexual comments” were not only not enough to cost Tyrus his job, they evidently weren’t even enough to lower his profile. Instead of facing any major disciplinary action, Tyrus was given his own new show and was trotted out on higher-profile programs to continue to act as the face of the platform.
New Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott is reportedly actively working “to create a healthier environment for staffers to report harassment,” but it’s hard to see how retaining the employee accused of sexual harassment is much of a step in that direction. For his part, Tyrus didn’t want to talk about it with The Hollywood Reporter’s Jeremy Barr: