As Fox News bosses debate the future of Bill O’Reilly amid allegations of sexual harassment, a new poll suggests a growing number of viewers think the network should cancel his show.
Forty-six percent of respondents in a survey by Morning Consult said Fox News should cancel “The O’Reilly Factor,” while 22 percent said the network should keep it. (Thirty-two percent said they had no opinion.) Among those who said they watch the show, 23 percent said it should be canceled, while the majority, 58 percent, think Fox should keep O’Reilly in place.
The percentage of people who think the show should be canceled increased by 11 percentage points compared to last week, Morning Consult found, as more people become aware of the situation. This week, the survey found that 50 percent of adults have heard either “a lot” or “some” about the sexual harassment accusations against O’Reilly.
O’Reilly’s favorability numbers have taken a slight hit, down 6 percent overall (from 36 percent to 30 percent this week favorable). Among O’Reilly viewers, 73 percent still view him favorably, down from 80 percent last week. O’Reilly was voted “the most unfavorably viewed news figure” in a recent poll conducted by the National Research Group and commissioned by The Hollywood Reporter.
But O’Reilly may have an edge in the numbers that matter most: ratings. According to an AP analysis, O’Reilly’s show’s ratings declined by 26 percent in the first three days of his recent vacation, suggesting that he remains a significant attraction for viewers.