Samantha Bee explains how forced arbitration silences victims of sexual misconduct
Believe it or not, former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson sat down for a one-on-one conversation with Samantha Bee, even though the Full Frontal personality and former Daily Show correspondent admittedly “made fun of her for 12 straight years at my previous gig.” But the two found common ground.
Carlson has been aiding lawmakers who are working to end forced arbitration, which she knows all about. Carlson sued the late Roger Ailes for sexual harassment, which led to Ailes losing his post as CEO of Fox News. The matter was settled out of court, and the terms of said settlement prevented Gretchen from going into detail with Bee.
“Can you tell me what happened to you?” Bee asked.
“I can’t tell you any of the details, unfortunately. … And that’s because in society we’ve chosen two ways to resolve sexual harassment cases and they’re both secret,” Carlson replied. “One is settlements where women can never tell you what happened, and the other is forced arbitration, which is also a secret chamber so women can never tell you what happened.”
However, she could say that, “hypothetically, if a woman is being sexually harassed in the workplace and she has an arbitration clause, she’s screwed.”
As Bee explained earlier in the segment, “Forced arbitration literally takes away your legal rights” and “often mandates nondisclosure agreements.”
“Not only does that keep stories from getting out to the public,” she said, “it can also prevent employees from sharing information about mutually feared creepos, and that enabled monsters like Roger Ailes to continue subjecting women to his genitals.”
Carlson remarked, “We’ve been fooling our culture into thinking we had solved this problem since Anita Hill because we don’t hear about these stories, but the reason we don’t hear about these stories is because they’re going to one of two secret chambers.”
She’s currently working to pass a bipartisan bill that would remove arbitration clauses from employee contracts when it comes to cases of sexual harassment, but people can get involved on a local level — or even within their own workplace.
“You can have a voice inside the workplace,” Carlson said. “If there was ever a time to do that, the time is now. Collectively our voice is so much stronger than just one person.”
Watch her interview on Full Frontal above.