ENTERTAINMENT

NPR Senior Vice President Placed On Leave After Sexual Harassment Allegations

Justin Zipprich
Author
Justin Zipprich
NPR Senior Vice President Placed On Leave After Sexual Harassment Allegations

The entertainment industry has been on fire lately with many of its stars and executives being accused of various forms of sexual assault and harassment, and that trend has extended to NPR.

A Washington Post story recently came out with accusations against NPR senior vice president Michael Oreskes who has now been placed on administrative leave.

The core accusations were made over two decades ago by two young female journalists who were seeking jobs at The New York Times while Oreskes was the Washington Bureau chief there.

They claim that he unexpectedly kissed them during several career-oriented business meetings.

Although their claims are from over 20 years ago, a more recent incident is also in the spotlight. In October 2015, a third accuser, who still works at NPR, filed a complaint against Oreskes with the HR department.

According to NPR, the employee’s complaint stated that Oreskes "hijacked a career counseling session into a three-hour-long dinner that delved into deeply personal territory" while also including mentions of sex with a former girlfriend.

After that incident, NPR rebuked Oreskes behavior and informed other executives about the event, but any disciplinary actions ended there.

A downtrodden Oreskes released a memo to his team, stated: “I am deeply sorry to the people I hurt. My behavior was wrong and inexcusable, and I accept full responsibility.

"To my colleagues, I am grateful for every minute I've had to work with each of you. NPR has an important job to do. Public radio matters so much, and I will always be your supporter."

On Wednesday morning, NPR CEO Jarl Mohn wrote a memo to the team stating that NPR took the allegations seriously and that Chris Turpin, the Vice President of News Programming and Operations would be taking over Oreskes’ responsibilities for the time being.

Fully aware that sexual harassment is a big deal these days, CEO Mohn also urged the staff to contact the legal department, HR, or his office directly if they experience or are aware of any inappropriate behavior or harassment in the future.

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