Three years ago, receiving a public apology from 21st Century Fox and retaining the right to speak about harassment generally felt like big wins. And they were. But had I known my complaint would help ignite such a profound cultural shift and that I would be depicted onscreen, I would have also fought against signing the nondisclosure agreement, or NDA, that prevented me from discussing my experiences while working at Fox News. At the time, I just wanted to bring closure to an ugly chapter in my life; I thought it would, at the most, lead to a week of press attention — not spawn a mini-series, a movie and become part of a global rallying cry.
“Winning” my complaint with a settlement and a nondisclosure agreement meant I was, essentially, forced into silence. NDAs were originally designed to safeguard the sharing of proprietary corporate information (think the formula for Coca-Cola), not to protect predatory behavior. Although NDAs usually prohibit employers from disparaging victims, whisper campaigns often follow women for years. As I documented in my book “Be Fierce,” the vast majority of survivors never work in their chosen professions again. American industry has lost many talented women to harassment, while allowing predators to continue climbing the professional ladder (where they have the potential to victimize even more women).