Celebs react to Bill O'Reilly's exit from Fox News

Bill O'Reilly's departure from Fox News is having a serious impact on Hollywood. The scandal-addled long-time host of The O'Reilly Factor was let go by the network after The New York Times revealed a bombshell report that several women who'd accused him of sexual and verbal harassment were paid off in a series of quiet settlements offered by the network over the course of several years.

The revelation caused multiple high-profile corporations to pull their advertisements from his coveted 8PM timeslot, and after departing for a planned vacation, the network announced their intentions for him not to return. As a result of the news, several celebs have offered up their own hot takes. From late-night talk show stars to comedians, Hollywood has a lot to say about O'Reilly's exit.

Ludacris' sly subtweet

The irony of Ludacris enjoying Hollywood success by starring in the number one movie at the box office (The Fate of the Furious) at the exact moment of O'Reilly's firing announcement has been lost on few. The rapper-actor was once targeted by O'Reilly in 2002 for being "a man who degrades women," and, as a result, Ludacris' sponsorship deal with Pepsi Cola was cancelled. At the time, O'Reilly bragged, "Because of pressure by Factor viewers, Pepsi Cola late today capitulated. Ludacris has been fired."

Perhaps even more ironically, O'Reilly added, "All of corporate America needs to rethink their responsibility to their country." Indeed, a targeted advertorial pull is believed to have been a large part of why O'Reilly's tenure with Fox News couldn't weather the deluge of accusations against him, and, while not mentioning his name, Ludacris himself seemed to offer a cheeky subtweet acknowledging his inadvertent relationship to the news. He wrote on Twitter, "HATE MAY WIN SOME BATTLES, BUT LOVE WINS IN THE END. YOURS TRULY, LUDA."

Welcome back, Stephen Colbert

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert has enjoyed a ratings wave in the era of Donald Trump's presidency. And the former Colbert Report star has rarely had to reprise his fictional personality on-air with the new show to secure his continued popularity on the small screen. Considering how intricately woven his hit alter ego was with O'Reilly, however, it was certainly an occasion to do so.

Colbert once again became "Stephen Colbert" (with a French softening of the "T" in his last name) on-air to bid farewell to the man whom he used to parody in his career-making role. He said, "Hello Nation. Shame on you. You failed him. You failed Bill O'Reilly. You didn't deserve this great man. All he ever did was have your back. And if you're a woman, maybe have a go at the front, too … Stay strong Papa Bear." Of course, now that he's no longer limited to such faux allegiance, Colbert also offered his own real-life perspective on O'Reilly's fate by calling him a "self-righteous landfill of angry garbage." Ouch.

Other late-night hosts who had a field day with their coverage of O'Reilly's news include The Daily Show, in which Trevor Noah honed in on the many oustings and voluntary departures at Fox News in recent years; Jimmy Kimmel Live, which pitched a replacement personality for The Factor; and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, which joked that he'd be the next in a string of conservative pundits hired at CNN.

Story time

After O'Reilly was accused by a former co-worker of calling her "hot chocolate," an allegation that seemed to be a proverbial straw on the camel's back, writer-director Judd Apatow revealed that he had personally witnessed a similar bit of behavior from O'Reilly. On Twitter, he wrote, "I met him at a party and he looked at Halle Berry and said 'beautiful woman. I bet she's not the sharpest crayon in the box.' A horrid man." Apatow had previously revealed that he and O'Reilly were neighbors while growing up in Long Island. And he wasn't the only celeb to open up their personal history books to share a disturbing account of interactions with the embattled host.

Liberal activist and filmmaker Michael Moore, who has been critical of O'Reilly for years, also chipped into the growing narrative surrounding O'Reilly's controversial behaviors by sharing a picture of O'Reilly angrily pointing at him on a roadside with the caption, "So I'm walking down the street one day, O'Reilly drives by, screeches to a halt, jumps out & starts yelling @ me. Ha!"

Chain of command

Among the most vocal defenders of O'Reilly, prior to his firing, was the President himself, Donald Trump. In an interview with The New York Times which preceded Fox's decision to let O'Reilly go, Trump said, "I think he's a person I know well — he is a good person. I think he shouldn't have settled; personally I think he shouldn't have settled. Because you should have taken it all the way. I don't think Bill did anything wrong."

Thanks to that statement and others that the two have made in support of one another in recent months, some celebrities have seen fit to draw the connection between O'Reilly's alleged behaviors and the slew of similar harassment accusations that have been made against Trump. Author and consistent Trump critic Stephen King wrote, "Trump supported O'Reilly because both are members of the odious boys' club where members feel they can abuse & humiliate women at will." Meanwhile, legendary songstress Cher noted, "3 FAMOUS OLD MEN…ROGER [AILES], BILL O'REILLY, & DONALD TRUMP HAVE SEXUALLY HARASSED WOMEN 4 [YEARS],TWO GOT FIRED,& ONE WAS ELECTED PRESIDENT."

And Rosie O'Donnell, who had a very contentious interview with O'Reilly in 2002 about homosexual parenting rights and has long been the target of Trump's ridicule, wrote that they were "sexual predators of a feather."

Doing it live

Prior to the harassment allegations, one of the most buzzed-about stories surrounding O'Reilly's history in the TV industry happened when an old clip of him shouting and swearing at producers about his displeasure over the language of a "play us out" prompt which would cue Sting's music to end the show. The clip sparked seemingly endless imitation, with "we'll do it live" among the most memorable soundbites from the reel. So, in keeping with that memorable moment, some comedians seized on the opportunity to send their digital salutations to the host by throwing back to that notorious moment.

Patton Oswalt, for example, who has been championing for O'Reilly's termination for years for various reasons, wrote, "Hey @OfficialSting — may I politely request you play Bill O'Reilly out?" And Margaret Cho, who'd blogged about sexual harassment claims against O'Reilly as far back as 2004 when he settled one such suit, wrote, "Well Bill, I guess we won't be doing it live."

Setting a precedent

Mia Farrow, who has long been a vocal advocate for abuse awareness following her and her children's difficult experience with her ex-husband Woody Allen, celebrated O'Reilly's firing and what it means for the future of the industry, writing, "Fox firing Bill O'Reilly is huge and hopefully sends an effective signal to all guys, however powerful, who harass & maul women." Actress Debra Messing echoed that sentiment by writing that it was "A WIN for Women & the Men who Respect them."