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November 14, 2017

Today's Media Sex Harassment Revelations: NBC Vice President, Arianna Huffington Tolerating Known Harasser

NBC Fires VP for inappropriate conduct.

NBC Universal fired Senior Vice President for Booking, News & Entertainment Matt Zimmerman, following accusations of sexual misconduct, the company announced Tuesday.

"We have recently learned that Matt Zimmerman engaged in inappropriate conduct with more than one woman at NBCU, which violated company policy," a company spokesperson told TheWrap. "As a result he has been dismissed."


From Gizmodo, Arianna Huffington Ignored Sexual Misconduct at the Huffington Post.

[H]er history with a former managing editor whose "transfer" to launch HuffPost India was later revealed to be result of an HR investigation into whether he had sexually harassed multiple young women in the New York office. Gizmodo recently revisited those allegations and not only independently confirmed that the investigation was indeed the reason for that managing editorís transfer, but that Huffington knew about his actions before they were reported to HR, according to a former employee with direct knowledge of the investigation.

...

[Y]ou canít make the argument that Huffington's job security was imperiled [as Harvey Weinstein's assistants' job were in danger, should they squeal]. She was at the top. By turning a blind eye, she bore ultimate responsibility for any issues that arose under her leadership. While she may proclaim herself a feminist, her failure to foster a safe work environment for women junior to her makes that proclamation empty and seemingly simply a tool to further her brand and her career. There is baffling hypocrisy in asserting that a healthy work environment is crucial when you have willfully ignored a toxic culture that thrived under your leadership. Huffington had the power to set an example--but she didn't.

...

Gizmodo has also independently confirmed just what Huffington would likely have known regarding Soni's reputation in the newsroom and the ensuing allegations against him. Soni selected the individuals for HuffPostís Editorial Fellows program, and reportedly saw this program as a way to find a romantic partner. According to Gawker, when an editor reportedly pointed out to Soni that the group of fellows was predominantly white, blonde women, Soni reportedly responded in a semi-joking manner, "Yeah, I'm using it to find myself a wife."

...

Another woman, a fellow at the time, said that Soni was making her uncomfortable based on how he interacted with her over Facebook messages after hours. She noted the disproportionate power dynamic, given Soni was in part responsible for determining who among the fellows would be hired full time.

Corey Feldman has accused another Hollywood type of being a pedophile, this one the owner of a "soda pop disco" catering to Hollywood's young-and-rich child star crowd.

Oh, remember that masseur who accused John Travolta of trying to get some kind of a happy ending? He's filed a criminal complaint against the actor. To be fair, some of this isn't really any big deal -- Travolta got naked for the massage. Um, that's often how it's done. And Travolta got naked in the sauna with him. Um, guys get naked in saunas. That's why I don't sauna. Anyway, Travolta offered, the claim goes, to give the masseur a massage, and felt up his inner thigh. And then, per the claim, Travolta got... a bit ruder. I don't know if any of this is sexual assault, though.

George Takei was also accused of groping a young man. Jazz Shaw, who's been waving a caution flag about the new standard as far as such allegations-- with the media just reporting them and people like, well, frankly, me just linking them approvingly, re-states his concerns about this New Normal where any allegation is enough.

I think his points are valid, and I've been (quietly) worried about this for a while. Alas, I'm also lazy, and this is very easy blog content. That's not any kind of principled reason to jettison the innocent-until-proven, or at least accused with some kind of evidentiary support, standard.


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posted by Ace at 06:37 PM

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