Return to Transcripts main page

CNN'S AMANPOUR

Gretchen Carlson's Sexual Lawsuit; #Me Too Movement; Interview With Barry Diller Regarding Sexual Harassment in Large Media Companies. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired January 9, 2018 - 14:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[14:00:30] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Tonight, the former T.V. anchor who blew the whistle on sexual harassment at Fox News, my conversation with

Gretchen Carlson on where the movement that she started is headed now. Also, ahead Disney buys Fox, AT&T tries to buy Time-Warner, media (ph)

magnay, Barry Diller on the changing face of the industry that he helped shape.

Good evening and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in New York. The "me too" movement caught fire last year, but before "Me Too",

there was Gretchen Carlson, the former Fox News anchor, made headlines a full year earlier, when she sued her former boss, the powerful CEO, Roger

Ailes for sexual harassment.

The case was settled for $20 million. Gretchen Carlson is with me now. Gretchen, welcome to the program.

GRETCHEN CARLSON, FORMER FOX NEWS HOST: Thank you for having me.

AMANPOUR: You are most welcome, because this is a massive, a conversation and a movement that is really some say at a delicate stage right now. Do

you think that there is sort of a tipping point moment right now, sort of come to Jesus moment about how this is going to go forward?

CARLSON: So I'm calling it a cultural revolution, and I don't think we really put the genie back in the bottle at this point. So many women and

men have felt encouraged, inspired, find that bravery and courage to come forward.

That -- I really feel like we're going to continue down this path. My great hope is that it will trickle down to the women who work in all of

these industries that are not Hollywood, television, or Capitol Hill, where they're not famous necessarily, but they're still enduring the same type of

harassment and abuse.

AMANPOUR: So this is (ph) where we're at, because there obviously have been a lot of high profile scalps and high-profile, highly-paid men have

been forced to leave their jobs. But it isnt't just about the famous stars, is it? Or the CEOs, this is a whole culture of enablement

throughout many organizations.

CARLSON: So I was stunned to find out after I jumped off my cliff in July of 2016, that suddenly so many women started to reach out to me. And I

realized very soon after, that it's a pervasive epidemic. It crosses all socioeconomic lines and all careers.

So I'm talking about teachers, members of our military, bankers, accountants, lawyers, sports executives. It's everywhere. And they all

said a similar thing to me, which was we never had a voice. We never had a voice, but through you, we feel like we do now.

So that was (ph) easiest for me to really put their stories into a book, was to give their voice honor. They had never been heard. And there's so

many reasons why we've been keeping this secret which I will probably get into.

AMANPOUR: Well, yes, I presume one of those reasons is just sheer terror. It's just fear of where the chips may fall.

CARLSON: Right. Because if you come forward you're still labeled a troublemaker, there's something wrong that you just couldn't get along with

the boys, right? And so -and you fear for your job. I mean if you're single mom, working two jobs, and you have kids to feed, you're not going

to come forward if you know that you probably can be maligned, demoted, and eventually fired.

So here's the stark reality of what happened to those thousands and maybe more than that of women across this country and around the world. They

came forward and in most cases they were fired. And they have never worked in their chosen profession ever again, and that is criminal.

AMANPOUR: It really, really is so troubling and you just mentioned, women with family. You, yourself, are married with two younger children. What

went through your mind when this was happening to you? And when you were sort of plotting your revenge and plotting how to take down this is

criminal enterprise?

CARLSON: Yes, well, I didn't share with my children. At the time, they were too young. Right now they're 12 and 14, and so they understand it

much more. But of course my husband was aware, and my parents and that was about it.

For me, the final thing was when my career after working so hard for more than 25 years in T.V., when it was going to be taken away from me, and it

wasn't my choice then (ph) I decided, if I don't do this, who will? And so I did it for my children, and your children, and everyone else's, and look

where we are today.

[14:05:00]

I mean it's so heartening to me to see where we are, even though the stories are horrific, and the allegations and revelations are horrible,

we're in this awakening. It's a historic moment.

AMANPOUR: Were you troubled that even after you came forward, and just -- Fox News, it has such a massive hold on such a huge segment of this country

and such a powerful organization. I mean, shaping presidencies and the agenda in many, many instances. Were you troubled that it didn't have the

sort of avalanche affect that what the Harvey Weinstein revelations had? Why do you think that happened?

CARLSON: Because we were still operating under the old rules.

AMANPOUR: Which were?

CARLSON: Which were the fact that women were still not to be believed and that it was just the fact that my show didn't have high enough ratings and

the same old, same old. It was a he said, she said environment.

Look what's changed now. I mean the amazing thing now is that if men are put in these positions and accused, they're being let go from their jobs

and they're issuing apologies right away. I mean, that was unheard of just 18 months ago when my story broke. So to me, that is humongous progress.

Here's the reason why women and men feel like the can come forward, because they saw consequences, even in my case. They saw something happen and they

thought to themselves, wow, maybe I should come forward. Maybe I should say what really happens to me because finally, even in 2017 and '18,

they're going to do something positive for me.

AMANPOUR: Can you tell me what happened? Obviously, you have certain restrictions because you were paid a $20 million settlement which came with

a non-disclosure agreement. I mean that's pernicious in and of itself.

CARLSON: It is.

AMANPOUR: Do you chafe under the silencing of your voice?

CARLSON: No, because look at what I'm still doing. I mean, I'm enacting new legislation on Capital Hill. I set up the funds to give grants to

empower young girls and boys. I am working on a docu series that will soon be out. I started the Gretchen Carlson Leadership Initiative for

Underserved Women. I mean the list goes on and on for the jobs that I've been able to do on this issue.

But, you bring up an excellent point about the secrecy of settlements. Our society has chosen two ways to solve these issues, settlements, where

women can never tell you what happened and arbitration clauses and employment contracts that also keep this issue silent and that's what I've

been working so hard on Capital Hill to change.

I'm proud to say last month, I was able to introduce a bill, bipartisan, in the House and the Senate to get rid of arbitration clauses and employment

contracts with regard to sexual harassment. The reason it is so imperative is because arbitration is a secret chamber.

So these women complain, they come forward, in many cases they're fired, they get sent to secrecy of arbitration and we never hear from them ever

again.

AMANPOUR: What about the men who are denying these things have happened? And what about the sort of spectrum of abuses, of wrong doing? There's a

big question right now, a little bit of a backlash that seems to suggest that a lot of issues are being conflated at one big no, no, one big crime.

Do you think that there has to be a moment where we define for all to understand what constitutes unacceptable behavior, fireable offenses and

what this doesn't (inaudible)?

CARLSON: Right. I mean -- it's an excellent point. We've seen the horrific allegations of actual sexual assault and sexual crimes, right?

And then on the other hand, inappropriate one comment or inappropriate touching one or two times. So yes, there has to be this balance of

horrible, horrible and maybe a one-off situation.

But I will tell you this, of all those thousands of women I heard from, there was no gray area in almost all of their stories. They were so awful.

So I don't want to diminish the severity and pervasiveness of the issue, but I do think we have to keep that in mind.

AMANPOUR: And when you struggle to figure out how to keep that in mind, how do we do that? I mean, those of us in journalism, people in Hollywood,

people in all other different professions, how do we sort of -- or is it obvious what a code of conduct is and we just know when it's being

violated?

CARLSON: Yes.

AMANPOUR: The thing is there are rules, there's H.R. rules in all of our organizations.

CARLSON: Well, and there are laws.

AMANPOUR: And laws.

CARLSON: So sexual harassment is either quick pro-quo, sleep with me and you'll get the job or you won't. It's pretty obvious right?

AMANPOUR: Is that what happened to you?

[14:10:00]

CARLSON: Well, I can't say exactly what my particular case was, but for many people that's what they face, right? And then if they go to

arbitration you never find out about that. But then the other area is a little bit more gray, which is subjective. For example, now people are

saying, well men can't even compliment you on what you're wearing.

Listen, that is not -- those are not the cases that people are coming forward about. The kinds of stories that I heard were so outrageous. A

woman just wanted a promotion and the boss asked her to get up the desk and spread her legs. I mean, these are the kind of stories that I was hearing.

It wasn't like there was a gray or subjective area there.

AMANPOUR: I was speaking to the historian Mary Beard, the British academic who's written books about many, many issues and goes way back beyond into

the millennia about -- about the patriarchy, about how it's so ingrained in our history. Isn't one of the ways that this is going to be solved

actually equal pay for equal play, more women in the executive suites, just more women at the table in the room where it happens, so to speak?

CARLSON: Of course, 120 percent. I interviewed an international cosmetic company for my book. And they had a very progressive way of -- you know,

how you could report sexual harassment, which is why I went to them. But here's what I ended up finding out, 70 percent of their employees were

female.

And they said well we have this very progressive thing but we don't have very many reports and I said why not. And then I was like oh yes, you have

70 percent women. So as long as the majority of Fortune 500 companies, 94 percent of them are still being run by men, first of all, we need those men

to help us. Right? We need them to hire us in higher positions.

We need them to pay us equally and fairly. We need them to give us a seat in the boardroom. We need all of that. And most importantly, we need them

to come forward when they see it happening.

AMANPOUR: And stand by us.

CARLSON: 100 percent. That, to me, will be the final tipping point.

AMANPOUR: Do you see enough of that happening? Do you see a movement towards that? Men being involved in the solution.

CARLSON: Oh, I do. You know, the other surprising thing after my story broke was that I heard from so many men. In my unscientific study on the

streets of New York City, more men would stop me than women and want to shake my hand and say thank you for my daughters.

AMANPOUR: That is great.

CARLSON: It is.

AMANPOUR: Now, what did your daughter and your son think when eventually, obviously the news broke, they saw what their mother had done, what she had

been subjected to and that she won.

CARLSON: Well, it didn't have an immediate effect. But I will share with you that my daughter found bravery and courage to stand up for herself.

And she did it in a situation that was making her uncomfortable and she said mommy, I did it because I saw you do it. Which meant it all worth it

to me. My son saw me on television one night and asked me about a horrible statistic about once every 73 or 76 seconds when sexual abuse happens,

mommy, is it true. I said yes. He said mommy, I want to help fix that.

AMANPOUR: That is really remarkable. I just want to ask you, to their generation, Pink, the singer, the entertainer has said the behavior, the

mindset that a woman can be grabbed in any way, that mindset is dying. Do you think for your daughters, your son's generation it will be a dead issue

or are we way far away from that?

CARLSON: It's my hope. When I've been meeting with all of these members of Congress, I say do you want this for your kids. Not one person raises

their hand. So we -- none of us want this for our children. So this is why it's bipartisan and apolitical. We need to be able to come together to

be able to solve this issue.

AMANPOUR: Well, well done for taking up the fight. Gretchen Carlson, you've been incredibly brave and thanks for continuing to speak out.

CARLSON: Thank you for having me.

AMANPOUR: Thank you. Now of course, it was women and journalists like Gretchen Carlson who helped kick off the me too movement, uncovering and

speaking up about the abuses of power by men like Roger Ailes and Harvey Weinstein. On tomorrow's program here, we explore another triumph in the

history of journalism.

When I speak with Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks about their new film, The Post, which tells the true story of the first female newspaper publisher,

Katharine Graham and how she and her investigative team took on the White House to publish the Pentagon Papers about the disaster in Vietnam under

President Nixon.

(MOVIE CLIP)

AMANPOUR: And we'll have much more of that conversation on tomorrow's program when I sit down with Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. But now to the

media and it's struggles in the modern era. Sexual harassment, claims of fake news and the ever changing face of technology are all fights where my

next guest has been at the forefront.

[14:15:00] Barry Diller is the chairman of the leading media company IAC, having been chairman of Fox Incorporated and head of Paramount Studios, and

he joins me now. Welcome to the program.

BARRY DILLER, CHAIRMAN OF IAC: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: So you've just heard the conversation with Gretchen Carlson and you've obviously - I mean you've been listening to this as it's been

unfolding. What was it like when you ahead of all these companies when it was all happening, all these companies were being built? Did you ever -

DILLER: You mean before the great reckoning?

AMANPOUR: Yes, before the great reckoning, before it was sort of dory (ph) geer.

DILLER: I - a completely different world. I mean it is the great reckoning. It is - I mean all of the practices that were go along, get

along, whether they were - I mean I never saw in any of the situations that I've been involved in the kind of heinous that has come out the last year

or so.

So I don't really have any of those experiences, nor in any of the companies. So that kind of egregious, but all sorts of shadows of gray -

AMANPOUR: -- you could (ph) -

DILLER: -- and overstepping, and things - oh, no, no.

More than heard about, investigated, acted on, et cetera. So yes, I mean oh, there, but the excesses of it. And the fact that this is now a

completely changed this.

For instance, in the previous interview when you were saying, well, you know -- how do you know? The truth is you really do know what behavior you

is -

AMANPOUR: Yes, I do.

DILLER: And - and by the way, now it's go over right - it's going to over swing but in fact, the day is - there's a harsh line. Before - I mean I

though it's really before Harvey and after Harvey.

AMANPOUR: What do you mean by it's going to over swing? Do you think the Me Too movement is in danger?

I mean for instance the economists have said that it's a very delicate moment right now. What do you mean by over swing?

DILLER: Yes, it isn't delicate enough, because there's not proportionality. This is annihilate the moment anything happens, no due

process, no - nothing that is actually of actually - let's call it factual -

AMANPOUR: But a lot of them have admitted it and apologized?

DILLER: Well, people admit it or people say, no. But the result is the same in all these cases, which is you're kind of taken off whatever you're

doing, your put on the side, probably for very long period of time, so I don't think it's a delicate period now, but I do think that the pendulum

like it always does, is going to swing a little too far, and then come back.

AMANPOUR: Right. So how do you think it comes back to a place where men and women know the rules and HR practices and the law, which we all know

exist -

DILLER: Oh, it's now.

AMANPOUR: -- is actually -

DILLER: No, no, no. Its' now.

AMANPOUR: -- abided by?

DILLER: It's now. I can't imagine. I think -- there's not a man I know that is not rifling back in his history, excruciatingly, if I do that, I

mean I might have overstepped this. Did I have that kind of talk with somebody? Whatever - whatever is was, everyone is doing that past.

Going forward, it has gotten to the point of people saying can I - do I hug you too much. I mean -- which is ridiculous, but so I think that's the -

but the actual practice today, not -- not happening. I think anywhere now that maybe a mote naive, I don't really think so.

AMANPOUR: As Gretchen was saying as we'd all been talking -

DILLER: It really is the Great Reckoning.

AMANPOUR: I think it really is, but we have seen as we keep saying, high profile scalps (ph) being claimed. But there's so much that is enabling

all of this. It's the - whatever it is, the agents, the bookers, the assistants, the people who lead a girl up to somebody's hotel room for a

meeting and then leave them there --

DILLER: Yes, I've talked to friends of mine -

AMANPOUR: -- in the jaws of the attacker.

DILLER: -- who have been in that position, and who really are guilty about it now. Again, it was - when you say what was it like then? Those kind of

grayish practices - it wasn't literally you were leading somebody up to some monster, who was going to then rape you.

I mean that was really not, but were you enabling it? Were you laughing a bit about it? Were you saying oh, he's a hound, and then the degree of

hound-ness was not really - pick a part (ph) - didn't really pick apart because - (ph) absolutely.

AMANPOUR: Absolutely. Let's move on to the -

DILLER: But it's over.

AMANPOUR: Well, let's hope it's over.

DILLER: It's over.

AMANPOUR: It's really over.

DILLER: (ph) absolutely this -

AMANPOUR: So how about having more woman - run publishing agencies, run media, and there are very few media operations. There's almost no studios

in Hollywood.

DILLER: No, that's not true.

AMANPOUR: -- that are run - well, there isn't.

DILLER: Well -

AMANPOUR: There's one major producer, Kathleen Kennedy.

DILLER: No, no, no. Stacey Snider runs Fox.

AMANPOUR: Well, that's true.

DILLER: Universal is run by a female.

AMANPOUR: But it's still -

DILLER: Actually of the major studios -

AMANPOUR: But it (ph) -

DILLER: No, that's - that's kind of there.

AMANPOUR: All right, enough. Female directors, female writers -

DILLER: No, no, no. I'm not - on the other side of the -

[14:20:00]

AMANPOUR: Yes.

DILLER: -- camera? I'm talking about the executive ranks. I think it's kind of all right, I'd say, all right-y. But in other areas, no. But an

inevitable part of this reckoning is that what all these balances were before, they're not going to be tolerated. So the -- the -- the natural

population push is going to take care of it.

AMANPOUR: What about the business and the landscape? I mean you are a founding charter member of building up a lot of the media that we know

today.

DILLER: Yes, yes, yes.

AMANPOUR: From old media to new media.

DILLER: Yes.

AMANPOUR: Now we have two mega mergers that are in the public spotlight, which I mentioned. Disney buying out Fox and AT&T trying to buy our

corporation, Time Warner. Disney, and I'll read what the White House said about that. The White House was quite pleased about it. I know the

president spoke with Rupert Murdoch earlier today, congratulated him on the deal and thinks that -- to use one of the president's favorite words --

this could be a great thing for jobs.

DILLER: That's the dumbest -- I mean, you can't say it's the dumbest. Because the dumb standard has changed, given this administration. But the

idea of saying that this merger is going to create jobs is beyond ridiculous. Because one of the key parts of this merger is to save money

by putting these things together and eliminating jobs.

Now, you know, that is the fact here. So I'm not saying it's a bad thing in and of itself, mergers by their very nature. There's not a merger that

doesn't usually almost always have cost synergies. Cost synergies, what does it mean? It means eliminating people.

AMANPOUR: I know. And I'm glad you actually made that clear for everybody. What about, though, how do you square the White House seeming

to love this merger and hating the idea of AT&T merging with Time Warner? Of course Time Warner the parent company of CNN.

DILLER: I can't square anything with this lunatic administration.

AMANPOUR: Well, where do you think it's going to go?

DILLER: What's going to go?

AMANPOUR: You're an expert in the --

DILLER: Well, what will happen, I think? I mean first of all, I think on AT&T Time Warner, I suspect they'll settle it because neither of them could

take the chance of losing. So I think -- what do I know? But I think before it actually goes to actual trial, they'll find some settlement. If

they go to trial, I think Time Warner probably -- I think AT&T probably prevails. And Fox is not even -- I can't imagine is even an issue. But by

the way, these are --

AMANPOUR: CNN, you mean.

DILLER: Pardon me?

AMANPOUR: Oh, so -- OK, go ahead.

DILLER: Yes, Fox.

AMANPOUR: Yes.

DILLER: Yes, yes. Whatever. But I think that in fact -- these are the crumbs, you know? These mergers are picking up -- if you think about it

world media terms, Time Warner, Fox no longer matter in mega media.

AMANPOUR: What do you mean?

DILLER: Go back to -- I was thinking about -- go back to '84. Rupert Murdoch bought into a seat at the table of one of the majors. That seat at

that table -- there were only six seats. And that seat gave him the platform to expand his business and build a large empire. Those six seats

now don't mean anything anymore. Time, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Fox, they don't -- they don't have the same meaning. That seat at the table is,

today, kind of irrelevant.

So the merger of those things is not very interesting.

AMANPOUR: That is really -- well, just that you say that it's not interesting is a fascinating statement on what's going on. But what does

it say --

DILLER: It leaves only three large companies, which is AT&T, Comcast, NBC and Disney, which is kind of an outlier to everything. But nevertheless,

those are the only companies of scale and substance, real substance.

AMANPOUR: What does it say about Rupert Murdoch? Here is (ph) this swashbuckling buccaneering empire-builder.

DILLER: He played a bad -- bad hand well.

AMANPOUR: Tell me about that.

DILLER: Well, I think he realized those companies no longer have pricing power. They no longer -- they're not -- look, the history of media has

been that whatever -- it wasn't that in fact, Disney invented ESPN. ESPN got successful and they bought it. In other words, always what they were

able to do these old companies is they were able to buy whatever became successful.

CNN started by Ted Turner became successful bought by Time Warner, now bought by AT&T. So these companies, though, usually were able to buy their

progeny. Now, they have no pricing power. So Rupert Murdoch I think realized that he was in a position where he's not buying Netflix. He's not

buying Amazon. And certainly isn't but Apple or Google or Facebook.

So what is he left to do? What he's left to do is sell. And so he played it well.

[14:25:00] AMANPOUR: Well, he did as he's played a lot of things well. Where does it leave the country, the world --

DILLER: The ordinary person?

AMANPOUR: Yes, the ordinary person. Yes.

DILLER: Everybody's going to work for the man.

AMANPOUR: For the man?

DILLER: Yes. For sure. Because you can't really build a -- a -- I don't believe you can -- any of these entrepreneurial things are no longer

possible in big, let's call it, media.

AMANPOUR: And what do you make of the Trump effect on the media and on the business landscape, right? (ph) You've got 60 seconds, Barry Diller. I

know you can do it.

DILLER: To do that one? What do I make of it? I make bad of it. It's terrible. I mean I really think that -- the question to me is not Trump.

We'll pass Trump. I mean, obviously we'll pass him. Hopefully sooner than later. But the question is what comes after. Have we -- have we degraded

things that in fact we will get more of this or, hopefully, what we will get is essentially a rebalancing act, where decency, dignity, every value

that you can think of is emphasized in the future.

But I don't know what anyone would be able to say right now, all they could look at and see everything degrading.

AMANPOUR: On that happy, cheery note, Barry Diller. Thanks so much for joining us this evening. And that is it for our program tonight. And

remember, you can always listen to our podcast, see us online at Amanpour.com and follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for watching

and goodbye from New York.

END