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Maddow Gets Emotional Over 'Silence' at NBC

The MSNBC host speaks up about sexual harassment and NDAs
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 26, 2019 6:20 PM CDT
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FILE - In this June 23, 2014, file photo, Tina Tchen, chief of staff to first lady Michelle Obama, speaks at the White House Summit on Working Families at a hotel in Washington. She is the incoming president and CEO of Time's Up.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
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(Newser) – Activists called upon NBC Universal on Saturday to allow former employees to speak out freely on sexual harassment in the workplace without restriction, rather than having to come to the company first to be released from non-disclosure agreements, the AP reports. The company said Saturday that any former employee who believes they cannot disclose their experience with sexual harassment as a result of a non-disparagement agreement should contact the company, "and we will release them from that perceived obligation." The statement was first reported Friday night by MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, in an emotional segment introducing author Ronan Farrow.

The highly influential MSNBC host expressed deep concern that her own company's bosses had thwarted Farrow's reporting on sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein—reporting which he then took to the New Yorker, where he won a Pulitzer Prize. Maddow also pointedly questioned NBC's failure to launch an independent investigation of both the handling of the Weinstein story and of the behavior of Matt Lauer, the former Today anchor fired in 2017 over sexual misconduct allegations. On Saturday, Tina Tchen, incoming president and CEO of Time's Up, said NBC Universal, while taking a useful first step, hadn't gone far enough to release employees from non-disclosure agreements or other restrictive clauses.

(Read more sexual harrassment stories.)

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