Over two dozen women have reported sexual harassment at “Vice”
In a New York Times piece that broke over the weekend, dozens of current and former female Vice employees opened up about the “toxic” culture of sexual harassment they were subjected to while working for the company. The report, published on Sunday, December 23, also details how Vice and its top executives fostered a “boys’ club” culture that degraded women.
The company has built a reputation for being cutting-edge in its approach to news coverage and journalism; however, it turns out they failed to provide women with a safe and comfortable working environment.
The women revealed they “experienced or witnessed sexual misconduct,” including unwanted kisses, lewd remarks, propositions, and groping.
"There is a toxic environment where men can say the most disgusting things, joke about sex openly, and overall a toxic environment where women are treated far inferior than men," Sandra Miller, the former head of branded production, told The Times.
According to the article, Vice was also forced to make four settlements related to sexual harassment and defamation, one of which included accusations made against President Andrew Creighton. He reportedly paid a $135,000 settlement in 2016 after a woman claimed he fired her after refusing a sexual relationship.
In response, Vice issued a lengthy statement promising to reform.
"We have failed as a company to create a safe and inclusive workplace where everyone, especially women, can feel respected and thrive," Canadian Vice founders Shane Smith and Suroosh Alvi said.
Since the exposé, the company has fired three staffers, brought on a new HR leader, and revamped its training process for employees. They’ve also pledged to pay women the same as men by the end of 2018.