The Discovery Channel received backlash from some of its fans after it aired a program hosted by former Fox News host Greta Van Susteren in which she interviews various celebrities about their pets. In one episode, former Fox News primetime anchor and stalwart of the network, Bill O’Reilly, appeared with his dog, Holly.
Some Discovery viewers apparently weren’t happy with O’Reilly’s appearance on Pet Tales With Greta, including former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson, who ripped both Van Susteren and Discovery for inviting O’Reilly onto the show, and called O’Reilly a “serial predator” in the process.
“What a disgrace — giving air time @greta to an alleged serial predator – I don’t blame poor Holly — but @Discovery what could you be thinking? Do you have female employees? I mean wtf,” Carlson tweeted.
What a disgrace — giving air time @greta to an alleged serial predator – I don’t blame poor Holly — but @Discovery what could you be thinking? Do you have female employees? I mean wtf https://t.co/nK29BAP1o7
— Gretchen Carlson (@GretchenCarlson) January 4, 2020
Carlson was one of the high-profile Fox News anchors who leveled charges of sexual harassment at network head Roger Ailes before she left the network. Carlson’s jab at Van Susteren and Discovery, including calling O’Reilly a “sexual predator” are presumably regarding a number of women who accused O’Reilly of sexual misconduct.
The women eventually settled out of court after accepting large payouts totaling some $13 million. O’Reilly, to this day, maintains that he was innocent of any wrongdoing.
The Discovery channel reacted to the fan backlash by making it clear that the show was not owned or produced by the network, rather, that it was a “sponsored” program that someone paid to be aired on the channel.
“It was an ad buy that ran on a Saturday morning,” a Discovery Channel representative told Yahoo. “It was not produced by and is not a Discovery show. We didn’t make it, we didn’t produce it, it was a sponsored thing.”
Representatives for Discovery network never revealed who purchased air time for the Van Susteren-hosted, light-hearted show about celebrity pets, but made it clear that they would not be airing another episode, presumably out of fear of more backlash.