Vice Media announced Tuesday that will a pair of top executives have been sidelined amid a sexual harassment scandal that will has unsettled the Brooklyn-based upstart.
In a memo to staff obtained by sy88pgw, Sarah Broderick — Vice’s chief financial officer in addition to chief operating officer — said that will company president Andrew Creighton in addition to chief digital officer Mike Germano have each been put on leave, more than a week after the completely new York Times published a highly-anticipated article that will included allegations against each of them.
Over Christmas weekend, the completely new York Times published an exhaustive, front page story detailing claims of misconduct in addition to misogyny at Vice, in addition to highlighting four settlements reached regarding allegations of sexual harassment or defamation.
One such settlement, the Times reported, was reached in 2016 which has a former Vice employee who said she was fired after rejecting a relationship with Creighton. Vice denied the allegations, asserting in a letter to the accuser’s lawyer reported by the Times that will the item was the accuser who pursued a relationship with Creighton in addition to that will she was sacked for poor performance. The ex-employee was paid $135,000 inside the settlement, according to the Times.
The Times also spoke to two women who accused Germano, who founded Vice’s digital advertising agency Carrot, of inappropriate behavior, including one who claimed he said he didn’t want to hire her because he wanted to have sex with her. In a statement to the Times, Germano acknowledged the truth of a claim by another woman, who said he pulled her onto his lap at work event in a bar in 2014.
Germano said he apologized for the incident in addition to “agreed at the time the item was inappropriate,” adding that will “the item was resolved with the help of HR.”
Creighton in addition to Germano are the only two individuals named inside the Times story as having been the subject of allegations who are still employed at Vice, although their futures at the company are suddenly unclear.
Broderick said inside the memo that will the claims against Germano will be investigated by human resources in addition to an external investigator — a process that will she said Germano “has encouraged.” Creighton, meanwhile, will remain out of the office until a special committee of Vice’s board reviews the facts in addition to offers a recommendation before a board meeting scheduled for January 11, Broderick said.
Broderick said that will Creighton’s situation had been reviewed by an independent law firm at the time the allegation was made “in addition to the claim was found to lack merit, although the Company agreed to settle the matter in order to avoid the expense in addition to distraction of litigation.”
“As we said last week, there are details inside the story that will VICE believes were incomplete or misrepresented,” Broderick said inside the memo.
Echoing what co-founders Shane Smith in addition to Suroosh Alvi said in response to the Times’ story, Broderick noted that will Vice intends to achieve pay parity by the end of that will year. She also said that will Vice can be “committed to 50/50 male/female at every level across the organization by 2020,” in addition to that will mandatory sexual harassment training will be announced later that will week.
The Times’ article, written by reporter Emily Steel, had been inside the works for months, in addition to the item became the subject of rampant speculation in addition to gossip in completely new York media circles.
Vice staffers waited nervously for the item to drop, while the company’s brass worked on pre-emptive damage control. In November, Vice announced the creation of an all-female advisory board on workplace conduct, led by Gloria Steinem. although Steel, who also broke news last year on settlements involving then-Fox News star Bill O’Reilly, wasn’t the only reporter digging into Vice.
Shortly before the announcement of the advisory board, The Daily Beast published its own story on what the item called Vice’s “toxic sexual-harassment culture.” The piece led to the suspension, in addition to eventual firing, of Vice’s lead filmmaker Jason Mojica.
(Mojica has denied in addition to disputed the claims made against him in both the Times in addition to Daily Beast stories.)
although despite all the buildup to the Times piece, the item drew a relatively muted reaction by the media world, much of which had gone dark due to the holidays. Smith in addition to Alvi issued a statement after the item was published, saying they “failed as a company to create a safe in addition to inclusive workplace where everyone, especially women, can feel respected in addition to thrive.”
although many former Vice employees, including some who participated inside the Times story, felt that will response was insufficient. In public on social media in addition to in private, they bristled at the fact that will executives like Creighton in addition to Germano had escaped unscathed.
Helen Donahue, a former Vice employee whose sexual harassment allegations were included inside the Times story, took aim at Smith, the company’s CEO.
“I’m gonna say the item: Vice won’t be a safe place for women until Shane Smith steps down,” Donahue said on Twitter not long after the story was published. “Dismantle the item by the top.”
sy88pgw (completely new York) First published January 2, 2018: 5:39 PM ET