Recent revelations about Fox News’ company handbook have raised concerns among conservative critics, highlighting a departure from the network’s core audience. According to leaked documents from January 2021, Fox News permits its employees to use restrooms based on their “gender identity” rather than their biological sex. Additionally, employees are encouraged to dress in alignment with their preferred gender and must be addressed by their chosen name and pronouns while at work. The leaked handbook also outlines various policies aimed at supporting employees during their gender transition, including assistance in creating a “Workplace Transition Plan.”
Conservatives have voiced their apprehension regarding the network’s adoption of trans-activist language, such as “gender-affirming care,” in online articles published by Fox Digital. Critics have also taken issue with the consistent use of female pronouns for individuals who are biological males but identify as transgender, like Dylan Mulvaney and Lia Thomas. Instances where Fox News hosts, such as Carley Shimkus on Fox & Friends First, used feminine pronouns to describe a male rapist called “Demi” Minor have raised further concerns among conservatives.
Fox News faced significant backlash for an on-air segment that celebrated a child’s gender transition, promoted a radical leftist California state senator, and claimed that failure to transition children with gender identity disorder increases the risk of suicide. Contrary to these assertions, a 2011 Swedish study found that minors who undergo transition have double to triple the risk of suicide. Moreover, recent studies have shown that so-called “gender-affirming care” for children lacks medical benefits.
The Fox News handbook emphasizes the rights of employees who are transitioning their gender to work in an environment free of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. It also cites the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a prominent LGBTQ organization, as a key source of information and highlights Fox News’ perfect score from the HRC in employee training materials. These policies align with legal obligations set forth in New York City, where Fox News is based, under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL), which mandates the use of an individual’s preferred name, pronouns, and title.
As Fox News embraces transgender policies in its workplace, conservative voices raise concerns over the network’s departure from its core audience and the adoption of language and practices that may contradict conservative values and perspectives.