More than two dozen women came forward with accusations of sexual harassment and assault at Vice News in an explosive New York Times expose Saturday.
One woman received more than $130,000 in a settlement after accusing Vice’s president, Andrew Creighton, of firing her because she refused his sexual advances. Another employee accused Vice producer, Rhys James, of making racist and sexist remarks in the office, like asking about the color of her nipples and if she slept with black men. Vice executives admitted wrongdoing almost immediately in a statement issued to The New York Times before the article’s publication.
“Listening to our employees over the past year, the truth is inescapable: from the top down, we have failed as a company to create a safe and inclusive workplace where everyone, especially women, can feel respected and thrive,” the statement reads. “That includes a detrimental ‘boy’s club’ culture that fostered inappropriate behavior that permeated throughout the company.”
Co-founder Shane Smith, who transformed what started as a free magazine into a lucrative news force, recounted his earlier days at Vice Media. “I would be at the party and would just want to get wasted, take coke and have sex with girls in the bathroom,” Smith said in a 2012 interview with the Financial Times. Statements like this one and the inappropriate advances of many male Vice employees at the workplace also cost the company several sexual harassment settlements in the last 15 years, the NYT reports.
“The misogyny might look different than you would have expected it to in the 1950s, but it was still there, it was still ingrained,” former Vice journalist, Kayla Ruble, told the NYT. “This is a wakeup call.”
The accusations come after countless other male politicians and bigwig personalities were also accused of sexual harassment, assault, or rape. (RELATED: Pennsylvania Education Board Leader Resigns After Assault Allegations).
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