Juan Williams is leaving Fox News after more than a decade with the network. Here’s why.
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In October 2010, Fox News contributor Juan Williams was fired from his position after making comments about Muslims on The O’Reilly Factor. Since then, he has not been seen on the network. Here is a look at what happened and why Juan Williams is no longer with Fox News.
Juan Williams’ History with Fox News
Juan Williams is leaving Fox News after 10 years with the network. The move comes after a series of public disagreements with the network, most notably about the network’s coverage of the Trump administration. Let’s take a look at Juan Williams’ history with Fox News.
Juan Williams’ Hiring by Fox News
In October 2010, Juan Williams was fired from National Public Radio (NPR), after making comments considered by some to be Islamophobic on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor.
Williams had been a contributor to Fox News since 1997, and his firing caused controversy among both NPR listeners and Fox News viewers. Many felt that Williams had been treated unfairly by NPR, while others believed that his comments were indeed Islamophobic and warranted his firing.
In the days following his firing, it was announced that Williams had been hired by Fox News as a full-time contributor. He remains with the network today, more than six years later.
Juan Williams’ Firing by Fox News
Juan Williams was fired by Fox News on October 20, 2010, after making comments about Muslims on The O’Reilly Factor. On the show, Williams had said that he gets “nervous” when he sees people in “Muslim garb” boarding his plane. He also said that Muslims have “superseded” Jews as the “new minority of paranoia and insecurity.”
These comments led to an immediate backlash, with many people accusing Williams of Islamophobia. Muslim groups called for his firing, and even some of his Fox News colleagues spoke out against him.
Williams was initially defiant, saying that he would not apologize for his comments. However, he later released a statement saying that he was sorry if his words had offended anyone.
Fox News announced Williams’ firing the next day, with a spokesperson saying that his comments had been “the last straw.” Williams had been a contributor at Fox News for over 10 years, and was also a regular panelist on The Five and Special Report.
Juan Williams’ Rehiring by Fox News
On October 2, 2010, Juan Williams was fired from National Public Radio (NPR), following remarks he made on The O’Reilly Factor the previous evening. Williams had said he gets “nervous” when he sees people in “Muslim garb” boarding an airplane. NPR issued a statement saying that his remarks violated its standards of not expressing personal views on controversial topics in a public forum.
Williams was hired by Fox News Channel (FNC) less than 24 hours after his firing from NPR. He became a political analyst for the network and also began appearing as a panelist on Special Report with Bret Baier. On March 1, 2018, it was announced that Williams had signed a new multi-year contract with Fox News.
Juan Williams’ Recent Controversies
On Wednesday, it was announced that Juan Williams was leaving Fox News. This was after he made some controversial comments on The Five. Juan Williams has been with Fox News for over ten years. He is one of their most well-known faces.
Juan Williams’ Comments on The Five
On October 5, 2017, Williams was a guest on The Five and discussed NFL players who kneeled during the national anthem. He said, “Look, I’m not a big football fan. I don’t really care about the NFL. But I am a black man, and I am sensitive to the fact that as a nation we still haven’t come to grips with our original sin, which was slavery.” Williams continued, “And so every time I see an African American castigated in the public arena like Colin Kaepernick was for kneeling, as you know Eric Holder came out and said he did nothing wrong. It makes me sad because still in this country we have not fully embraced our African American brothers and sisters.”
These comments led to backlash from some of his co-hosts, with Kimberly Guilfoyle saying that she thought his remarks were “out of line” and that he was “insensitive” for bringing up race. Guilfoyle also said that she didn’t think it was appropriate for him to share his personal feelings on the show. Williams later clarified his comments on Twitter, saying that he wasn’t trying to start a fight on the show and that he believes there’s more work to be done in terms of race relations in the United States.
Juan Williams’ Comments on Fox & Friends
On October 5, 2017, Williams made several on-air comments regarding NFL players kneeling during the pre-game national anthem. He first said that he empathized with the “frustration” of the players, but added that their choice of protest was ineffective and disrespectful. Later in the show, he doubled down on his earlier statements, saying that the players were “pampered” and “overpaid.” These comments sparked immediate backlash from many viewers, who accused Williams of being insensitive to the issues that the players were protesting.
In the wake of the controversy, Fox News released a statement reaffirming their support for Williams as a contributor. Despite this show of support, Williams announced on October 20, 2017 that he would be leaving Fox News effective immediately. In a statement released by his agent, Williams said that he was “grateful” for his time at Fox News but felt “several years ago” that he no longer fit in with the network’s “present direction.”
Juan Williams is leaving Fox News because he feels that the network has “changed” since the departure of Roger Ailes. In addition, Williams feels that Fox News is now “harder line” and is not providing the same level of objectivity that it once did.