Halperin, Rose accusers form group to fight harassment in the media

A group of women who have accused prominent media figures of sexual harassment have formed a support group focused on “changing the culture in newsrooms.”

Fifteen current and former journalists announced Wednesday that they are forming “Press Forward,” a new coalition and support group for accusers dedicated to creating “equitable and effective news environments.”

The effort is being spearheaded by a group of former ABC employees who accused former NBC political analyst Mark Halperin of sexual harassment. According to CNN, the accusers created a Facebook group and held meetings to discuss how to use their experiences to combat harassment in the industry.

ADVERTISEMENT

The group has also reportedly reached out to some of the women who accused anchor Charlie RoseCharles Peete RoseIranian official maintains Tehran has 'no knowledge' of American hostage's whereabouts 'Bombshell' bombing at box office isn't exactly a shock — here's why '60 Minutes' producer alleges CBS News retaliated after she reported inappropriate behavior MORE of sexual harassment. Halperin’s NBC contract was terminated on Oct. 30, while Rose was fired by CBS and PBS on Nov. 21.

 

Halperin and Rose both issued statements after the accusations came to light. Halperin apologized for what he called his “aggressive and crude” behavior, while Rose said that he is “greatly embarrassed” by his “inappropriate behavior,” adding that he does not believe that all of the allegations are accurate.

“This is a pivotal moment in time, a moment for us to redefine not only how we address sexual harassment in the workplace, but also how we build stronger and healthier working cultures,” the group’s mission statement reads. “The old way of doing things has hurt our colleagues, impaired our news organizations and hampered our ability to serve the public.

"As an industry, we can do better.”

The group said it will conduct a research study over the next six months to determine how they can best support others in the media field.

"As current and former female journalists from ABC, NBC, CNN and CBS we have come together through shared experiences, and we have developed plan of action,” Eleanor McManus, who accused Halperin of sexual harassment in October, told CNN. “This is about women finding their voices and companies understanding the shameful power imbalance that has been in place way too long."

Sexual harassment scandals have roiled the media industry, with dozens of women coming forward over the past few months with accusations about prominent media figures.

On Wednesday, Time Magazine named the “Silence Breakers,” women who have come forward with their experiences of being sexually harassed, as the Person of the Year.