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Story highlights

Palin on Fox News: I left for a reason

Former Alaska Gov says women who have been harassed shouldn't stick around for paychecks

Washington CNN —  

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said Thursday the corporate culture at Fox News – particularly how the network treats women – needs to change.

Asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead” about her role as a Fox News Channel contributor, Palin said, “Well, I think the key there is that you said I ‘used’ to be with Fox – I used to be with Fox.”

Tapper asked, “But you said your former, so I wonder, was (the treatment of women) part of the reason you left?”

Palin replied, “You know I’m not going to speak for them, my contract wasn’t renewed – that’s the line.”

“I wouldn’t put up with anything that would be perceived as intimidating or harassing,” she added, saying that she parted ways with Fox News when her contract with the network wasn’t renewed in June 2015.

Palin spoke out one day after Fox News terminated its relationship with anchor Bill O’Reilly amid sexual harassment allegations. The 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee said women don’t deserve to be harassed – and the network needs to do better at protecting them.

“Corporate culture there obviously has to change. Women don’t deserve it, they should not ever have to put up with any kind of intimidating workspace,” Palin said. “At the same time, if a woman believes she is being intimidated and harassed, she needs to stand up and do something about it, not stick around for a paycheck for years and years and years and then after the fact complain about what she went through.”

“As a strong woman, I say we should feel more empowered than that and we should take a stand and get out of the place or you know, blow the whistle on whoever is the perpetrator doing the bad stuff so that the culture will change,” Palin continued. “But yeah, obviously things are changing quickly at Fox.”

Last July, Fox’s former CEO, Roger Ailes, resigned amid a flurry of sexual harassment lawsuits. On Wednesday, O’Reilly, host of the Fox primetime show “The O’Reilly Factor,” was fired following a cloud of harassment allegations against him.

Palin has not spoken openly about why her contract was not renewed at Fox. She left the network shortly after she made remarks that appeared to defend Josh Duggar in the midst of his molestation scandal – and was critical of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly’s interview with him.

In an interview with the Christian Broadcast Network in 2015, she said she was “fired” as a response to “calling somebody out.”

“Some things happened that I haven’t talked about publicly … things like getting canned from a job I really liked, kind of, sort of out of the blue, because I called somebody out,” Palin said. she said. “It was a shock, but more power to Fox News – it’s private enterprise. They can fire somebody for wearing the wrong color of tie that day.”

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correctly state the year Palin was a vice presidential candidate.