According to, Fox News President Roger Ailes last summer blocked anchor Shepard Smith from coming out gay.

Smith approached Ailes about coming out during contract negotiations, a source told Gawker.

“It's time,” Smith reportedly told Ailes.

But Ailes refused the request and Smith acquiesced.

Gawker added that the discussion led Fox News executives to remove Smith from the channel's prime-time lineup. Smith's demotion to the 3 PM block was promoted by Bill Shine, executive vice president of programming at the channel. Shine, who is described as a “major homophobe,” reacted badly to Smith bringing his boyfriend Gio Graziano to an annual Independence Day picnic held at Ailes' home in New York.

“His fear was that Shep's audience would implode,” a source said.

In a joint statement, Smith and Ailes called Gawker's story “false.”

“This story is 100% false and a complete fabrication. As colleagues and close friends at Fox News for 18 years, our relationship has always been rooted in a mutual respect, deep admiration, loyalty, trust and full support both professionally and personally,” the men wrote.