“Women don’t deserve, they should not ever have to put up with any kind of intimidating work space,” Palin, 53, told CNN‘s Jake Tapper during a Thursday appearance on The Lead.
The controversy has consumed headlines in recent days, since The New York Times reported that five women were paid a collective $13 million by O’Reilly and Fox News for agreeing not to file lawsuits or speak publicly about allegations that he harassed them.
Although Palin said she believes no woman deserves negative treatment, the former Alaska Governor said women should never continue to work in an unsafe environment.
“If a woman believes that she is being intimidated and harassed, she needs to stand up and do something about it,” Palin told Tapper. “Not stick around for a paycheck for years and years and years and then after the fact complain about what she went through.”
She added: “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 the culture will change.”
Palin, who first joined Fox News in March 2010 as host of Real American Stories, was dropped from the network in 2015.
Ailes quit the network last summer amid sexual harassment allegations against him.
Fox News’ Chris Wallace came under fire in 2010 as a result of comments he made about Palin to Don Imus, according to NPR. Imus asked Wallace whether Palin would sit “on his lap” during an upcoming interview. Wallace replied: “One can only hope.”
In a statement to PEOPLE, Wallace says, “More than seven years ago, I engaged in a playful discussion with former FOX Business host Don Imus. Immediately, I realized it was an inappropriate comment and apologized to Gov. Palin. She accepted my apology and since then, we have done a number of interviews and had a respectful professional relationship.”
The former vice presidential candidate stumbled over her words when asked whether harassment led to her departure from the network.
“I wouldn’t put up with anything that would be perceived as intimidating or harassing,” Palin said when asked whether she had experienced any harassment during her time with Fox News.
Bill O’Reilly Parts Ways with Fox News amid Sexual Harassment Allegations
“I just, you know, it was just time to part ways. You know, and get out there in a more diverse arena to express views and to speak for the public.”
The longtime O’Reilly Factor host is currently on what he said was a long-planned vacation in Italy and was seen shaking hands with the Pope in Vatican City on Wednesday.
O’Reilly addressed the allegations in an April 1 statement posted on his website, in which he stated that his job made him “a target for those who would harm me and my employer, the Fox News Channel.”
O’Reilly had been the host of The O’Reilly Factor since 1996.