UPDATE (Dec. 14, 2017, 11:00am) In recent weeks, claims against long-standing news anchors and businessmen have also come out:
PBS announced the suspension of Tavis Smiley, host of the late-night talk show of the same name, following an external investigation. Smiley has not yet responded to the claims, his suspension or the PBS statement which stated: "PBS engaged an outside law firm to conduct an investigation immediately after learning of troubling allegations regarding Mr. Smiley. This investigation included interviews with witnesses as well as with Mr. Smiley. The inquiry uncovered multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS, and the totality of this information led to today's decision."
After the Nov. 30 publication of an account of sexual assault written by the victim Jenny Lumet, Russell Simmons, founder of hip-hop music label Def Jam Recordings and CEO of Rush Communications has stepped down from the companies. Simmons released the following statement on the same day:
“I have been informed with great anguish of Jenny Lumet’s recollection about our night together in 1991. I know Jenny and her family and have seen her several times over the years since the evening she described. While her memory of that evening is very different from mine, it is now clear to me that her feelings of fear and intimidation are real. While I have never been violent, I have been thoughtless and insensitive in some of my relationships over many decades and I sincerely and humbly apologize.
This is a time of great transition. The voices of the voiceless, those who have been hurt or shamed, deserve and need to be heard. As the corridors of power inevitably make way for a new generation, I don’t want to be a distraction so I am removing myself from the businesses that I founded. The companies will now be run by a new and diverse generation of extraordinary executives who are moving the culture and consciousness forward. I will convert the studio for yogic science into a not-for-profit center of learning and healing. As for me, I will step aside and commit myself to continuing my personal growth, spiritual learning and above all to listening.”
Today anchor, Matt Lauer was fired by NBC News after a detailed complaint about inappropriate sexual behavior. Co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb announced his firing at the beginning of Wednesday's show. Details have not yet been released but NBC News chairman, Andrew Lack, released the following memo:
On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company's standards. As a result, we've decided to terminate his employment. While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he's been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.
Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender.
We are deeply saddened by this turn of events. But we will face it together as a news organization -- and do it in as transparent a manner as we can. To that end, Noah and I will be meeting with as many of you as possible throughout the day today to answer your questions.
CBS This Morning co-anchor Charlie Rose has been accused of sexual harassment by eight women, with claims of unwanted sexual advances, groping, nudity and lewd phone calls. The women, who came forward to The Washington Post, reported incidents that date back as recently as 2010. On Nov. 20, Rose released the following statement:
"In my 45 years in journalism, I have prided myself on being an advocate for the careers of the women with whom I have worked,” Rose's statement reads. “Nevertheless, in the past few days, claims have been made about my behavior toward some former female colleagues."
“It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior," he adds. "I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken."
“I have learned a great deal as a result of these events, and I hope others will too. All of us, including me, are coming to a newer and deeper recognition of the pain caused by conduct in the past, and have come to a profound new respect for women and their lives."
On Nov. 28, his long-time CBS This Morning co-host, Gayle King, spoke out about the incident on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, saying: "I can’t turn off my feelings for him but I also have sympathy for these women, these women that are speaking up. So it’s very, very difficult when somebody you care about has done something that is so egregious to everything that you believe in.” (See the video above.)
The original story continues below:
The Harvey Weinstein sex scandal has rocked Hollywood and opened the door to getting its dirtiest secrets out in the open. Allegations are coming out at a furious pace, including these notable figures from film and television:
A report published on Nov. 9 by The New York Times includes details from five women who have accused comedian Louis C.K of sexual misconduct, asserting that he either masturbated, or asked to masturbate, in front of them. On Nov. 10, Louis C.K. responded with a statement that included: "These stories are true. At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn't a question. It's a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly."
Actress Kristina Cohen has accused Gossip Girl's Ed Westwick of raping her in a detailed Facebook post on Nov. 6. Cohen alleges that she was briefly dating a "producer" and was at Westwick's house with him when the assault happened after she fell asleep in a guest bedroom. Westwick responded on Tuesday on Twitter: “I do not know this woman. I have never forced myself in any manner, on any woman. I certainly have never committed rape.”
A woman who interned for Dustin Hoffman in 1985 recently came out and said he groped her on the set of Death of a Salesman, according to NBC News. "I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation," he said in a recent statement. "I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am."
Actress Ariane Bellama, adult entertainer Isis Taylor and now Tiffany Bacon Scourby have both publicly accused Jeremy Piven of inappropriate sexual behavior on the set of Entourage and at a party, respectively. "I unequivocally deny the appalling allegations being peddled about me. It did not happen,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “It takes a great deal of courage for victims to come forward with their histories, and my hope is that the allegations about me that didn’t happen, do not detract from stories that should be heard."
Film producer Brett Ratner has filed a defamation lawsuit against a woman who alleges he raped her. The woman's accusation is part of a report in the Los Angeles Times in which six women, including Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge, have accused him of sexual harassment or assault.
Four men, including actor Anthony Rapp, have accused Kevin Spacey of sexual harassment. Spacey has been widely criticized for his public response to Rapp, in which he also came out as a gay man, for correlating being gay with being a sexual predator, and now says he will seek treatment. Production of his show House of Cards has been suspended by Netflix.
Selma Blair and Rachel McAdams are among the 38 women who have accused the Oscar-nominated director of sexual harassment or assault, according to a report published by Los Angeles Times. A social media support group for his alleged victims has swelled to at least 60.
Harvey Weinstein's brother has been accused of sexual harassment by a former employee. An executive producer of the Spike TV series Mist says he made continued unwanted advances and casually threatened termination if she didn't date him. He denied the allegations through a representative.
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