ABC has been catching a lot of heat lately for the way the studio handled numerous sexual assault allegations levied against former Executive Producer, Michael Corn, as well as former ABC President Ben Sherwood. Multiple women reported instances of sexual assault and harassment, then decided to sue ABC and Disney, claiming that ABC should have known that Corn and Sherwood were creating a hostile work environment.
It was first reported by Deadline that ABC attempted mediation with the women, but they were unsuccessful. Mediation is common as most companies want to try to settle before cases fund themselves in a courtroom. After the failed mediation, one of the women amended her lawsuit and further claimed that ABC had punished her by not giving her a raise after she chose to speak out about the alleged misconduct.
It has also been reported that a number of ABC staffers were “livid” with Disney because the company had promised to clean things up and make the work environment one where everyone felt comfortable, safe, and supported. Staffers claimed that they had reached out to Disney about the ongoing issues, but they were being ignored.
Well now, Disney is speaking out, and the answer they are giving is one a lot of people may not like.
Peter Rice, the Chairman of General Entertainment Content, who is responsible for creating news content for Disney’s streaming platforms, as well as its cable and broadcast networks, has said that The Walt Disney Company will not be investigating how ABC handled the accusations against Corn and Sherwood.
According to a report from The Hill:
Simone Swink, the current executive producer of “Good Morning America,” told staffers during a meeting this week that a probe into the exit of Michael Corn, who formerly held her position, “is not happening at this time,” The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing a recording of Swink’s remarks.
Peter Rice, Disney’s chairman of general entertainment content who heads the company’s news division, said “it was beyond his sphere of influence to ask for an outside investigation of the Walt Disney Company,” Swink told staffers.
ABC News President Kim Godwin had said that she would request an independent investigation into the matters involving Michael Corn and Ben Sherwood, but Rice also informed her that that request would not be approved and that an independent investigation would not be happening.
It is also being reported that Disney is refusing to investigate at this time because they are named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
Disney has not made a statement at this time about its refusal to investigate ABC.
How do you think Disney is handling the sexual assault allegations against former ABC exec. Michael Corn? Let us know in the comments!