In October of 2017, investigative journalist Ronan Farrow first broke the story on Harvey Weinstein. Over a 10-month long investigation, 13 women came forth for interviews with Farrow, bringing detailed accounts of sexual harassment and assault they claimed to have endured while working for Weinstein.
Farrow has come forth with another report, this time listing serious sexual harassment accusations against CBS CEO Les Moonves, but also, former CBS News chairman, Jeff Fager.
“Fager, currently the executive producer of ’60 Minutes,’ is being accused by nineteen current and former employees of fostering an environment that allowed harassment in the division,” reported Mediaite.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Fager is Being Accused of Inappropriately Touching Employees at Company Parties
In an interview with Farrow, a former “60 Minutes” producer explained how company politics work. “It was always ‘Let’s go say hello to Jeff,’ cause you have to pay homage to him, but do it early in the evening before he starts getting really handsy.”
Six former employees stated that Fager would get intoxicated at company parties and touch them in ways that made them uncomfortable.
“One incident, at which several employees were present, Fager allegedly made drunken advances to an associate producer, commenting on her breasts and becoming belligerent when she rebuffed him,” Farrow reported.
2. Fager is Being Accused of Protecting Other Men Who Mistreated Women in The Company
According to Farrow’s report, senior producer Michael Radutzky threatened to throw furniture at another senior producer, Vicki Gordon, when she went to inform the CBS office of human resources of the harassment happening behind the scenes.
“Radutzky twisted her arm behind her back, causing her to scream,” wrote Farrow.
Fager took over the matter, saying he’d address Radutzky’s misconduct, but there were no repercussions.
Sources say Fager instructed Gordon not to inform the CBS office of human resources and even forced her to apologize to Radutzky.
Yet he stated, “I have never discouraged anyone from going to H.R.”
3. Fager Shut Down a Project on The History of “60 Minutes” After Writer, Richard Zoglin, Started Asking About The Treatment of Women at CBS
In an article published in the New York Times back in December 2017, Farrow shined a light on the fact that Fager shut down a book project taken on by Richard Zoglin, former editor at Time magazine, concerning the history of CBS’ “60 Minutes.”
After a dozen interviews with Zoglin, Fager told the writer he was focusing too much on the negative.
“Fager specifically expressed concern that Mr. Zoglin had asked his interview subjects about the treatment of women in the ’60 Minutes’ workplace, according to three people who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive internal matters,” reported Farrow.
Fager also asked Zoglin why he felt the need to bring Katie Couric, a former CBS News anchor who left the network on “bad terms,” into the discussion.
Ultimately, Zoglin was kicked off the project and the 50th-anniversary book covering the history of “60 Minutes” was published in Fager’s name.
4. According to Many of Its Employees, CBS is a Frat House And Fager Lets The Men “do Whatever The Heck They Want”
A former “60 Minutes” employee named Sophie Gayter alleged that Charlie Rose groped her, and Fager “enabled the other men on the floor to do whatever the heck they wanted,” reported Farrow.
“It’s an old network. Everything in there feels old: the people, the furniture, the culture, the mores,” one employee said in an interview with Farrow.
“I had several producers and editors over the age of sixty who would greet me by kissing me on the mouth. I had people touch my butt a couple times,” a former employee of the network said.
A source told Farrow that Katie Couric herself mentioned it feeling “like a boys’ club, where a number of talented women seemed to be marginalized and undervalued.”
5. Fager Has Yet to Address The Allegations, But an Old Statement of His Has Resurfaced
Though very detailed accounts of sexual harassment and misconduct have come forth involving Fager, they haven’t yet pressured him to respond. Still, some feel the need to defend him, including “60 Minutes” star Lesley Stahl and correspondent Anderson Cooper.
What we do have from Fager, is a personal statement he released to the press back in 2015 after Zoglin first started to pry into what Fager felt was “company business.”
The statement reads:
It is wrong that our culture can be falsely defined by a few people with an axe to grind who are using an important movement as a weapon to get even, and not by the hundreds of women and men that have thrived, both personally and professionally, at ‘60 Minutes.’
A majority of our senior staff are women. All of them worked their way up the ranks and are now managers of our broadcast. Half of our producers and a majority of our associate producers are women. It is a challenging place to do well and promotions are earned on merit and are not based on gender.
Again, Fager has yet to comment on the most recent allegations brought forth by Farrow.