Former pro-wrestler Tyrus was booted off his Fox Nation show after his co-host Britt McHenry filed a sexual-harassment complaint against him with Fox News management.
Last week, The Daily Beast reported that Tyrus was kicked off of Un-PC after an unspecified personal dispute with McHenry. Since then, multiple sources have confirmed to The Daily Beast that the dispute centered around McHenry’s contention that Tyrus had, on multiple occasions, sent her unwanted and unsolicited text messages with lewd, sexual comments.
Fox News brass was aware of the harassment complaint against one of its streaming service’s most high-profile hosts, these sources confirmed, but ultimately decided to move Tyrus, born George Murdoch, off Un-PC and onto his own new show called NUFFSAID.
McHenry’s complaint to management about the eccentric Fox personality wasn’t all that surprising to some of his colleagues. Two sources who have worked at Fox News told The Daily Beast that Tyrus has long had a reputation for regularly making off-color or “politically incorrect” remarks or jokes. “He’s got a wild sense of humor, if we’re being generous,” one current female Fox employee said.
Neither Tyrus nor McHenry responded to requests for comment and, when reached, a Fox News spokesperson declined to provide a statement.
McHenry’s complaint came as Fox News has tried to move on from the numerous sexual-harassment scandals that plagued the network since its late founder and CEO Roger Ailes was ousted over decades worth of alleged sexual misconduct.
In early 2017, Bill O’Reilly was fired after The New York Times exposed at least five sexual-harassment claims settled by the long-time Fox News star, and a year later, Eric Bolling was given the boot after multiple colleagues accused him of sending lewd text messages. Both men denied their respective allegations.
Fox itself has shown a potential willingness to weaponize accusations against its own. Last year, it was reported that another Fox News star, Kimberly Guilfoyle, had been tagged with alleged inappropriate conduct—though, as The Daily Beast reported, this came to light as Fox employees waged a covert and hostile campaign to discredit her on her way out the door.
Variety reported earlier this year that new CEO Suzanne Scott—despite having been frequently named as one of Ailes’ enforcers—has actively worked to create a healthier environment for staffers to report harassment.
However, outside splitting up the Un-PC hosting duo, it’s unclear whether the network took any disciplinary action against Tyrus following McHenry’s complaint. In May, the network announced he got his own show on the streaming platform, omitting any mention of his exit from the show with McHenry. When The Hollywood Reporter’s Jeremy Barr asked Tyrus in a Twitter direct message whether his departure was due to a dispute with McHenry, the Fox star told the media reporter to never contact him again and blocked him.
The ex-wrestler has continued to regularly appear on Fox News as the face of Fox’s streaming-only service, including an appearance on his pal Greg Gutfeld’s show this past weekend.
Behind-the-scenes bitterness had roiled Un-PC since it launched in fall 2018, including off-air blow-ups over trivial show details. Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation told The Daily Beast that, on one occasion this year, Tyrus blew up at the show’s crew because an on-set banner for the Boston Bruins NHL team had been swapped out for their rival Washington Capitals’ banner.
McHenry joined Fox News last year following a multi-year stint as a reporter at ESPN, where she courted controversy for her outspoken conservative politics and an infamous video in which she was seen berating a towing-lot employee. She was paired up on the show with Tyrus, a former WWE wrestler who has become a frequent commentator on Fox News thanks in part to his friendship with Gutfeld, who calls Tyrus—a former bodyguard for Snoop Dogg—his “massive sidekick.”
In recent months, as McHenry’s complaints became known at Fox, Tyrus himself has occasionally talked about workplace misconduct on-air.
Appearing on Fox News host Dana Perino’s daytime news show in mid-April, around the same time as his exit from Un-PC, Tyrus warned viewers against sending text messages to coworkers unless they had a “strong relationship.”
“Something could go wrong,” he said. “You could go from sending a message about lunch to sitting in HR.”
And long before that, in Oct. 2017, while appearing on Gutfeld’s show, Tyrus made a bold declaration about misbehaving men: “If you are found guilty of sexual harassment in the workplace… I think you should have to register as a sex offender.”