The new CEO of Fox news, Suzanne Scott, is an Executive made infamous for allegedly enforcing a ‘miniskirt rule’ for the broadcaster’s female staff members.
A former staffer told the Daily Beast in 2016 that Scott demanded an aesthetic that features skimpy dresses, high-heeled open-toed shoes, and big hair for the channel’s on-air women in her previous role as Vice President of Programming.
She is also involved in ongoing sexual harassment complaints at Fox. The Guardian reports that Scott is cited in lawsuits brought by the former Fox News employees, Andrea Tantaros and Julie Roginsky, as one of the Executives at the company who either did not respond to or covered up their complaints of harassment.
According to one of the suits, Scott responded to host Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment claims against Roger Ailes by attempting to recruit on-air staff and contributors “to retaliate against Carlson by publicly disparaging her,” adding that she “characterised this retaliatory onslaught as supporting ‘Team Roger’.”
Scott has denied both enforcing the miniskirt rule and corralling support for Ailes.
In making the announcement of Scott’s appointment, Lachlan Murdoch said: “Suzanne has been instrumental in the success of Fox News and she has now made history as its first female CEO. Her vision and innovation have helped create some of the most popular and lucrative primetime programs on cable and as we embark on the era of the proposed New Fox, I am confident that Suzanne’s leadership will ensure the dominance of both Fox News & FBN for years to come.”
In the UK, workplace dresscodes have sparked multiple news stories. Last year, a Coronation Street actress responded to being sent from work without pay for failing to wear heels by starting a petition.
It received more than 152,000 signatures and Parliament’s Women and Equalities investigated claims that dresscodes were unfairly aimed at women.
Their subsequent report found that workplace demands forced women to wear high heels, revealing clothes and make-up.
MPs, responding to the petition, said existing laws banning sexist dress codes at work must be more readily enforced – but also found that ‘high-heel’ dress codes were widespread.