According to Gawker.com, 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
But Ailes refused the request and Smith
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
“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.