"I still can't talk about what happened to me because of a non-disclosure agreement," says Gretchen Carlson.
In an op-ed today, former Fox News presenter Gretchen Carlson calls on Fox to release employees from the non-disclosure agreements they were forced to sign.
"Buying silence instead of stopping harassment is immoral and unjust," Carlson says.
"I want my voice back. I want it back for me, and for all those silenced by forced arbitration and NDAs. "
It's a great piece.
Here's an excerpt.
Ironically, while most of the real women involved in the Fox News scandals remain muzzled by NDAs, two high profile Hollywood projects (Showtime's limited series "The Loudest Voice" and Lionsgate's upcoming feature "Bombshell") can freely tell stories without our participation. While projects like these will certainly inspire more women to come forward, and while it's certainly flattering (and surreal) to be depicted by such remarkable, empathetic actors as Naomi Watts and Nicole Kidman, my experience is yet another example of why the laws governing NDAs must change.
In practical terms, my NDA means I am legally prohibited from discussing — in public and in private — what happened to me. It means I cannot consult with filmmakers, writers, journalists or anyone else telling my story — whether it's about the depiction of me, my family, or the events themselves — nor can I comment on the accuracy of a final product. I don't know precisely what Fox would do if I violated the agreement, but presumably they'd take legal and financial actions. It's a strange and frustrating reality.
Prohibited from telling my story, for three years I've focused on helping other women tell theirs through "Be Fierce" and my Lifetime documentary "Breaking the Silence." I've worked with members of Congress to introduce the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Act, a bill that has achieved bipartisan support from leaders including Senators Lindsey Graham and Kirsten Gillibrand. When two leaders so ideologically different are on the same page about forced arbitration, it really says something. Harassment in the workplace is apolitical.
Read it: Gretchen Carlson: Fox News, I Want My Voice Back [NYT opinion, image: Fox News screengrab]
Non-disclosure agreements are only enforceable because state (& federal) specifically allows it. It doesn't have to. Governments should recognize that secrecy is not in the public interest and not enforce NDA settlement clauses. @GretchenCarlson https://t.co/8heXTYmFAO
— Stephen LeBlanc (@stephenjleblanc) December 13, 2019
"Winning" my complaint with a settlement and a non-disclosure agreement meant I was, essentially, forced into silence. NDAs were originally designed to safeguard the sharing of proprietary corporate information…not to protect predatory behavior.https://t.co/5d3dnEXBoK
— Gretchen Carlson (@GretchenCarlson) December 13, 2019
Hour Two of NPR's @OnPointRadio – starting at 11am ET.
Carlson in NYT: Fox News, I Want My Voice Back. https://t.co/VnWCRd0sKp
— David Folkenflik (@davidfolkenflik) December 13, 2019
I, too, have asked @foxnews to release me from my NDA. It's quite telling that their own lawyers don't even have the professional courtesy to respond. @GretchenCarlson is right: "We were simply the ones who had the courage to speak up, & for that, we lost our jobs." Thx @nytimes. https://t.co/DCZuFj6zlC
— Tamara Holder (@tamaraholder) December 13, 2019
— Jeremy W. Peters (@jwpetersNYT) December 13, 2019