Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee weighed in Thursday on Fox Corporation’s promotion of Pride Month, suggesting that Fox is imperiling itself by deliberately pushing away its loyal conservative audience.
“Fox News has a lot of good talent and produces much-needed, conservative content,” Lee told The Daily Signal. “But if that network turns on its (currently loyal) fan base—and becomes like literally every other broadcast and cable news outlet—its most avid viewers will go somewhere else, and they will do so quickly, never to return.”
Lee had tweeted earlier on Thursday evening that “this kind of deliberate alienation of its own audience might not end well for Fox News.”
“But for the fact that there is no other large cable news company in America that is widely known as conservative (or even right of center), this account could prove devastating,” he added.
The senator’s remark followed an expose from The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh showing that Fox promotes far-left organizations pushing gender transitions on children, such as The Trevor Project, and encourages employees to “expand [their] perspective” by reading sexually explicit books written by trans activists about sexuality.
“Not all Fox employees are happy with this propaganda,” Walsh warned. “That might be why, last year, Fox experimented with a solution to monitor employees’ commitment to DEI. It’s an AI platform called Eskalera, which tracks employees’ commitment to the cult of DEI. Fox leadership told employees to sign up for Eskalera so that the AI could help them ‘engage in activities that will deepen’ their ‘understanding of identity’ and ‘explore more nuanced D&I concepts.’”
“Do the executives and owners just not know what’s happening in their company?” he asked. “Are they trying to comply with some onerous New York State Law? Do they not care? Do they actually support this nonsense? Fox News’ audience deserves to know.”
Walsh’s expose followed The Daily Signal’s report exposing Fox’s company policies on gender transition: Fox News employees are allowed to use bathrooms that align with their gender identity, rather than their biological sex, and permitted to dress in alignment with their preferred gender. They must also be addressed by their preferred name and pronouns in the workplace.
The Daily Signal’s story came amid conservative consternation at Fox Digital’s use of activist language like “gender-affirming care” in stories on its website, as well as the site’s consistent use of female pronouns for biological males like TikTok celebrity Dylan Mulvaney and swimmer Lia Thomas (formerly known as Will Thomas).
Fox also drew strong backlash for a June 2022 on-air segment praising a child’s gender transition as an “inspiration to others.” That segment briefly depicted California state Sen. Scott Wiener, a far-left Democrat who led the move to soften sex offender registry requirements for sodomy with minors, and highlighted the activist claim that a child might commit suicide if he or she is not permitted to transition.
Current and former Fox employees who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the company claimed to The Daily Signal that the company does not truly support conservative values. One source who still works at Fox News told The Daily Signal that after Tucker Carlson’s show was canceled in April, producers for the new 8 p.m. “Fox News Tonight” program were told not to bash Mulvaney.
That directive came from high-level executives, the source said.
The Daily Signal sent Fox’s corporate public relations staff detailed questions about the policy and the accusations from former employees. Fox has not responded to The Daily Signal’s requests for comment.
In late May, host Harris Faulkner suggested that otherwise conservative companies may have to change some of their policies in order to comply with woke state laws as she discussed criticism of Chick-fil-A’s diversity, equity, and inclusion policies with host Kayleigh McEnany.
“What will be interesting about Chick-fil-A is, can they do both? Can they keep the DEI in the front of the car?” questioned Faulkner. “Because many states are mandating it now. Here at Fox, other corporations, there will be things they’re going to have to change because the state of N.Y. requires it.”
“If their states start mandating it,” she added later on, “some of these companies are going to have to start doing things that they said they’d never do.”
Fox’s policies appear to be aligned with the legal requirements in New York City, where the company is headquartered, as well as California, where a large number of its employees work.
The New York City Human Rights Law requires employers to use the name, pronouns, and title with which a person identifies, regardless of their biological sex. It is a violation of the Human Rights Law to intentionally or repeatedly refuse to use a person’s preferred name, pronouns, or title.
Additionally, the New York City law requires that people “be permitted to use single gender facilities, such as restrooms or locker rooms … that most closely align with their gender, regardless of their gender expression, sex assigned at birth, anatomy, medical history, or the sex or gender indicated on their identification.”
If a biological woman objects to sharing a bathroom with a trans-identifying man, her objection will not be considered a “lawful reason to deny access” to the trans-identifying individual: “In those circumstances, a covered entity may offer alternatives for the individual expressing discomfort, by, for example, providing a single-occupancy restroom to change in.”
The law also specifically states that it is “unlawful” to require a trans-identifying person to use a single-occupancy restroom “because they are transgender, non-binary, or gender non-conforming.” New York also outlines the “Workplace Transition Plan” mentioned in the Fox handbook.
California’s Fair Employment and Housing Council adopted new regulations in 2017 pertaining to trans-identifying employees. These regulations similarly include an employee’s bathroom use, transitioning, dress, and preferred name and pronouns.
For example, on bathroom use, the regulations state: “Employers shall permit employees to use facilities that correspond to the employee’s gender identity or gender expression, regardless of the employee’s assigned sex at birth.”
And on names and pronouns, the regulations give individuals a means to take action against their employer: “If an employee requests to be identified with a preferred gender, name, and/or pronoun, including gender-neutral pronouns, an employer or other covered entity who fails to abide by the employee’s stated preference may be liable.”
The Fox handbook also cites the Human Rights Campaign, one of the most prominent LGBTQ+ organizations in the country, to define a slew of LGBTQ+ terms, including cisgender, gender expression, gender-fluid, gender identity, gender nonconforming, gender transition, LGBTQ, nonbinary, and transgender.
For the past several years, Fox received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, “the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey and report measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality.”
That Corporate Equality Index is thought to be behind Bud Light’s financially disastrous decision to use a biological male who “identifies” as a transgender woman, Dylan Mulvaney, as its public face.
The Daily Signal has also covered the Human Rights Campaign’s Healthcare Equality Index, an index swaying the practices of hospitals and health care facilities by scoring them on whether they are adopting progressive policies.
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