It started with the Harvey Weinstein allegations, and now the rampant allegations of sexual harassment have snowballed over to politicians and prominent members of the media.
NBC has just fired Today Show host, Matt Lauer, after receiving a complaint about inappropriate sexual behavior while he was covering the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The complaint was received by the NBC Human Resources Department on Monday, November 27th and NBC felt the evidence was so compelling that it terminated Lauer the following evening. Here was NBC President, Andy Lack’s statement:
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.
The alleged victim’s lawyer applauded NBC’s swift action.
In a separate incident, actress Portia De Rossi took to twitter to tell her story about the sexual harassment she suffered in an audition with actor Steven Segal.
These allegations are shedding light on a larger issue that Hollywood has swept under the rug for years. There is a culture of sexual harassment and abuse that movie studios have tolerated or turned a blind eye towards. For far too long, these allegations have been ignored, making the agents and executives who did nothing to stop or report the sexual harassment and abuse complicit in the behavior.
Actress Rachel McAdams recently told a similar story about meeting with a director, James Toback. She mentioned that no one warned her about his reputation before auditioning. When she complained to her agent after she was assaulted, she was told, “I can’t believe he did it again. This isn’t the first time this has happened.”
Sexual assault is not a rite of passage, and it is not something that should have happened to you. If you have been a victim of harassment or abuse not just in the motion picture, television reality-TV, news or digital production areas but in any field, you have an advocate who will fight for you.
You do not have to be an actor. Potential victims can include Production Assistants, Make-Up Artists, Extras and Lesser-Known Stars, Art and Sound people, Camera Production Members, Directors Associates, Production Coordinators and Location Scouts, Production Company Assistants, Agency Assistants, Agency Mailroom Workers, Management Company Assistants, Development Employees, Studio Employees, Personal Assistants, and Interns. And in other fields, they can include just about anyone – we’ve heard accounts emerging everywhere from boardrooms to call centers and retail stores all across California that make these entertainment field accounts pale by comparison.
The Carter Law Firm is a top California employment and labor attorney office with expertise in sexual harassment cases. If you have been a victim of sexually harassing behavior, or know someone who has, please reach out to us in the contact form below.
We realize that discretion is paramount in this area and your response will be kept completely confidential.