A group of female former news hosts and producers, some of whom worked at NBC News, are asking the network’s parent company to overturn NBC’s decision not to launch an independent investigation into sexual misconduct and potential coverups by some executives.
The letter sent to Comcast Corp., signed byMegyn Kelly,Greta Van Susteren,Linda Vesterand others, asks the board to overturn NBC’s “refusal” to allow an investigation by an independent law firm of alleged misconduct within the news division.
The letter comes on the heels of new claims fromRonan Farrowand Rich McHugh in their book “Catch and Kill,” that expand on Farrow’s groundbreaking reporting in 2017 that exposed Harvey Weinstein’s alleged serial sexual misconduct.
“This week, the fearless reporting by Ronan Farrow and Rich McHugh exposed what many at NBC News have known for years: certain network executives have enabled a corporate culture of widespread sexual harassment and abuse, and are still trying to cover it up today, ”the women wrote in the letter to Comcast’s board of directors and CEO Brian Roberts, a copy of which was obtained by The Hill.
In addition to the investigation, the women call on Comcast to make NBC declare that all current and former employees may seek waivers from nondisclosure agreements.They also ask to have an in-person meeting of Comcast executives, directors, sexual harassment victims and advocacy leaders.
The letter is also signed by Eleanor McManus, founder of Press Forward and a former CNN producer, as well as Addie Zinone, co-founder of Press Forward and former NBC News producer.
Among the revelations in Farrow’s new book is the allegation that former “Today” show hostMatt LauerMatthew (Matt) Todd LauerFarrow: Clinton staff raised concerns over Weinstein reportingAdvocacy group urges DNC to cancel debate hosted by MSNBC, cites ‘toxic culture’ at networkMegyn Kelly lauds ‘forces of good’ Meredith Vieira, Ann Curry in Matt Lauer scandalMOREraped Brooke Nevils, a woman who worked at NBC at the same time he did.
“These were not isolated incidents. His years of predatory behavior toward female colleagues was tolerated by executives with the same attitudes toward women – some were even predators themselves, ”the women wrote.
Lauer was ousted from NBC in 2017 over multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.
Lauer deniesthe allegation of rape in Farrow’s book, claiming “each [sexual] act was completely consensual” between him and Nevils.
Farrow’s reporting also includes what he called “a paper trail ”of settlements and nondisclosures struck with women at NBC news.
Kelly and Vester called on NBC earlier this week, during separate appearances on Fox News, to conduct an outside investigation into its handling of Lauer.
The network responded thatit would not.
“We are very confident in the report that was conducted,” NBC spokeswoman Hilary Smithtold The Hollywood Reporter, adding that Lauer was fired within 24 hours of learning of his actions and the network “promptly launched a corporate investigation. ”
Representatives for Comcast and NBC News were not immediately available for comment in response to the letter the hosts sent.
NBC News President Noah Oppenheim hadpushed backon Farrow’s reporting, saying the company has “no secrets and nothing to hide.”
Updated at 1: 57 PM