The day after the NFL season concludes, it is referred to as “Black Monday” due to the number of head coaches fired.
November 29 can be referred to now as “Black Wednesday”.
In one fell swoop, two personalities and a showrunner were fired Wednesday due to sexual harassment charges. In addition, a CNN producer for Jake Tapper’s show (Teddy Davis) was also fired Wednesday over the same issue.
The latest allegations claimed the careers of Today show host Matt Lauer; NPR’s Garrison Keillor, and Supergirl and Flash showrunner Andrew Kreisburg in a span of twelve hours Wednesday. Thursday saw hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons step down from his companies after allegations of sexual assault from a female screenwriter 25 years ago.
Sexual harassment allegations have rocked the media industry and beyond the last few months, resulting in numerous firings. Others who saw the pink slip in the media business recently include Charlie Rose, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Mark Halperin, and Louis C.K.
Lauer is the second network morning anchor (following Rose) to get canned as their departures already promises to shake up the morning news race, who continue to lose viewers to local morning news shows on other stations, including WGN Morning News and WFLD’s Good Day Chicago.
Variety was about to release a story on the allegations against him, including a buzzer under Lauer’s desk in his office to lock the doors whenever a female co-worker visited. Lauer has also been accused of sexual misconduct while covering the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
As for Keillor, Minnesota Public Radio fired him because (due to “inappropriate behavior”), he put a hand on his co-worker’s back while consoling her. Keillor sent an e-mail to the Star-Tribune explaining his side of the story. Keillor hosted the popular National Public Radio program Prairie Home Companion.
So far, there have been no known allegations surfacing in Chicago or any other local media municipality.
The list has been astonishing – and it continues to grow. As this shameful display continues, who’s next? At this point, if Time is considering a “Person Of The Year”, it might as well be an exit sign.
An earlier draft of this post had the words Keillor and Prairie misspelled. Yours truly apologizes for the errors.