The entertainment and media world was already an intensely paranoid place before the revelations about Harvey Weinstein, but as new sex harassment allegations emerge every day in multiple industries, a new level of anxiety is taking over.
In anticipation of the next headline, companies are huddling with legal and human resource departments, combing over existing nondisclosure agreements, asking for reviews of employee manuals and reminding staff how to comport themselves and how to complain. Among the suggestions: no after-dinner drinks and no one-on-one meetings in a room with a door closed.
ABC News president James Goldston issued a company memo reminding staff members how to report concerns. “We hold everyone at ABC News accountable for our behavior and how they conduct themselves,” he wrote.
The memo came a few hours after Mark Halperin was suspended from his job as a political analyst for MSNBC and NBC News in the wake of a CNN report on harassment allegations from five women while Halperin was working for ABC News. (CNN has since reported several additional allegations against Halperin, and on Monday NBC News severed its ties with him.)
NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News, issued a similar statement Friday afternoon.
“NBCUniversal has a longstanding commitment to providing a safe working environment in which everyone is treated with respect and dignity,” the statement said. “We take all complaints of misconduct very seriously, and thoroughly investigate all allegations of harassment.”
The leadership of Condé Nast, the publishing company, said in a statement that it had a no-tolerance policy for sexual harassment in its workplace, and announced that it would be working with talent agencies, which represent some of its best-known employees and contractors, to enforce that policy.