NBC Entertainment chairman departs one week after investigation opened into ‘toxic culture’
NBCUniversal has parted ways with NBC Entertainment Chairman Paul Telegdy after allegations of homophobic, sexist and racist behavior that also included claims Telegdy cultivated a toxic work environment.
The news comes after NBC launched an investigation into the allegations in July following a claim by former “America’s Got Talent” judge Gabrielle Union, who had been ousted from the show.
Union filed a harassment complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. She alleged that Telegdy created a hostile work environment.
In a bombshell report last week, The Hollywood Reporter interviewed more than 30 employees who said Telegdy would mock “gay executives, sometimes to their faces; use homophobic and misogynistic slurs; and disparage or make sexual comments about the physical appearance of network talent,” with the story adding that “current and former insiders say they have heard Telegdy participate in what one former insider describes as ‘appalling’ discussions in the office that included crude sexual remarks.”
Telegdy left the network amid an ongoing internal investigation.
“NBCUniversal takes these matters seriously, and will investigate these allegations, many of which are coming to our attention for the first time,” NBC said in a July 31 statement regarding Telegdy’s alleged behavior. “NBCUniversal remains committed to creating a safe, respectful and supportive workplace for all.”
Telegdy has staunchly denied the claims,
“The nature of these allegations flies in the face of everything I stand for. I hope that my actions over decades — empowering those around me, supporting artists, and creating shows with values of aspiration and inclusion at the core — speak louder than the selective words of a few,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
The departure comes after Jeff Shell was named CEO late last year. Shell previously served as chairman of NBCUniversal Film and Entertainment. He replaced Steve Burke and reports directly to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts.