Four Democratic Candidates Are Pressuring DNC To Hold NBC Accountable For Sexual Assaults Before Debate

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
Font Size:
  • Four Democratic presidential candidates have signed onto a letter demanding the DNC hold NBC News accountable for conducting an external investigation into sexual assault allegations at the network.
  • Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker signed the letter just one day before MSNBC co-hosts the Democratic debate in Atlanta.
  • The senators are “concerned about the message” sent to sexual assault survivors if the Democratic debate goes on without NBC’s parent company agreeing to another investigation.

Four Democratic presidential candidates signed onto a letter demanding that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) hold NBC News accountable for sexual assault allegations just one day before MSNBC hosts its Democratic debate.

Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey signed onto a letter from Ultraviolet, a women’s advocacy group, that will be sent to chairman of the DNC Tom Perez Tuesday, according to the group.

The letter voices concerns about the message sent to sexual assault survivors if the Democratic debate happens Wednesday without NBC’s network parent company agreeing to investigate various sexual misconduct allegations and a cover-up accusation at the network, Huffpost first reported. It calls on NBCUniversal, the parent company, to launch an external investigation.

“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,” the letter reads.

This letter comes after investigative reporter Ronan Farrow gave a detailed account of the sexual assault allegations against disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. In his book “Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators,” Farrow accused NBC News of covering up the story because Weinstein pressured the network after finding out about sexual misconduct accusations against former NBC host Matt Lauer.

“NBC’s internal investigation last year ultimately concluded that because there were no formal complaints, NBC News executives were not at fault,” the senators write according to the letter, available on Huffpost. “Yet, there is clearly something wrong with a work environment reluctant to hold management accountable.”

NBC News conducted an internal investigation and largely cleared itself of wrongdoing in a report last year, Huffpost wrote. It has refused to conduct an external investigation, although other networks with similar allegations have done so in the past.

Many have called for the network to launch a new, external investigation following reports that it covered-up accusations against Weinstein and Lauer. The network has said that it is “confident” in the original report and has no plans to do another. (RELATED: NBC, ABC And CBS Appear To Have Run Cover For World’s Most Powerful Rape Rings)

“We are very confident in the report that was conducted,” NBCUniversal spokesperson Hilary Smith previously told The Hollywood Reporter. “We fired Matt Lauer within 24 hours of learning what he did, and promptly launched a corporate investigation. Based on our investigative findings, we have swiftly taken appropriate actions to address the situation and improve workplace culture.”

The letters adds that it is “critical” the DNC makes it clear that they support sexual harassment and abuse victims. It also brings up President Donald Trump, alleging that he “has been credibly accused of sexual harassment and sexual abuse by dozens of women.”

“We, as a party, have to offer voters a clear and unquestionable difference come November when it comes to these important issues,” the letter reads. “We can not do that when we prop up and support companies that have systematically covered up numerous incidents of sexual violence with no accountability or changes of leadership.”

The four senators will be attending Wednesday’s debate hosted by MSNBC News and The Washington Post in Atlanta, Georgia. NBCUniversal is the media company owned by Comcast. NBCUniversal owns both NBC and MSNBC, as well as other networks.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.