Last month, the New York Times reported on “allegations of old-school sexual harassment” at media company Vice, reporting that the company reached “four settlements involving allegations of sexual harassment or defamation against Vice employees, including its current president,” Andrew Creighton.
This week, Vice suspended chief digital officer Mike Germano and Creighton. Vice’s human resources department and an “external investigator” are examining the allegations against Germano, and Vice’s board is reviewing a settlement Creighton paid in 2016 to “a former employee who claimed that she was fired after she rejected an intimate relationship,” the New York Times reported.
The news of the suspensions came in a memo from Vice’s Sarah Broderick. iMediaEthics obtained a copy of the memo, which responded to the December 2016 New York Times article, noting that “only two of the individuals named are still employed at Vice,” Germano and Creighton. In November, Vice fired three unnamed staffers for allegations including “verbal and sexual harassment.”
iMediaEthics wrote to Vice to ask how many allegations were made, and how many total Vice employees have been disciplined over sexual misconduct or harassment. Vice declined to comment.
“As we said last week, there are details in the story that VICE believes were incomplete or misrepresented. As a further step, however, a special committee of VICE’s board is reviewing the facts and will make a recommendation to Sr. Management prior to the January 11th board meeting.”
The memo also said the company hired a new director of human resources, Susan Tohyama, and that the company will require any Vice employee “both full-time and freelance, to participate in mandatory sexual harassment training.”
“The trainings will be provided by professional third-party firms and will start later this month,” the memo said. “Every employee in every office will be trained, but we expect to get through the US, UK, and Canada by the end of February. These trainings are to ensure awareness and understanding of VICE’s commitment to a workplace that promotes equal employment opportunities and is free of discrimination and inappropriate conduct.”
The memo also called for Vice to have “more women and diversity throughout the organization,” noting “Vice has committed to 50/50 male/female at every level” by 2020.