2020 Democrats seek investigation into 'toxic culture' at NBC ahead of debate

2020 Democrats seek investigation into 'toxic culture' at NBC ahead of debate
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Four Democratic presidential candidates wrote a letter calling on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to ensure that NBC and its parent company Comcast conduct an independent investigation into the network’s “toxic culture” after it was roiled by allegations of sexual assault.

The letter signed by Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSanders urges impeachment trial 'quickly' in the Senate Steyer rolls out 5B plan to invest in historically black colleges The great AI debate: What candidates are (finally) saying about artificial intelligence MORE (D-N.J.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe media have fallen out of love with Bernie, but have voters? Krystal Ball: Media turns on Buttigieg, will this end him? Senate Democrats demand Trump fire Stephen Miller MORE (D-Calif.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders urges impeachment trial 'quickly' in the Senate The media have fallen out of love with Bernie, but have voters? Steyer rolls out 5B plan to invest in historically black colleges MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe media have fallen out of love with Bernie, but have voters? Buttigieg surrogate on candidate's past consulting work: 'I don't think it matters' Steyer rolls out 5B plan to invest in historically black colleges MORE (D-Mass.) comes ahead of the Democratic primary debate on Wednesday to be broadcast by MSNBC and The Washington Post.

The Democrats, in a letter directed to DNC Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE, also demanded NBC investigate accusations of "a cover-up" by the network's management and "a work environment reluctant to hold management accountable."

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“We, the undersigned candidates, are very concerned about the message it would send to sexual assault survivors if our next debate is sponsored by MSNBC without clear commitments from Comcast, the parent company of NBC and MSNBC, to conduct an independent investigation into the toxic culture that enabled abusers and silenced survivors,” they wrote. 

“It is critical that the Democratic National Committee make clear that they support survivors of sexual harassment and abuse by ensuring that Comcast and NBC News take steps to clean up the toxic culture that exists across their networks,” they added. 

The four candidates are among 10 who are set to appear in Wednesday’s debate in Atlanta. 

The senators’ joint letter follows women's advocacy group UltraViolet’s push last month for the DNC to cancel the upcoming primary debate at MSNBC and the Post. 

The letter signed by the 2020 candidates does not ask the DNC to cancel the debate. 

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An official for the DNC said the committee had not received the letter as of Tuesday at 11:15 a.m. The person declined to comment further.

An official for NBC was not immediately available for comment.  

The letter comes following the release of a book by journalist Ronan Farrow, which details allegations of sexual harassment and assault within the network, including an allegation that former anchor Matt LauerMatthew (Matt) Todd Lauer2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the November forum 2020 Democrats seek investigation into 'toxic culture' at NBC ahead of debate CBS employee fired for allegedly leaking Robach hot mic clip denies she leaked the tape MORE raped an NBC employee. 

NBC has strongly defended the actions it has taken after the accusations were brought to its attention, including over Lauer, though it has not launched an outside investigation into sexual misconduct allegations.  

Lauer denies the rape allegation saying the sexual relations with the employee had been consensual.