NBC News Chairman Andy Lack has been accused of turning a blind eye to accusations of sexual misconduct throughout his career — beginning way before “Today” show host Matt Lauer’s scandal. Allegations that Lack ignored reported misconduct against employees date back to his days at Sony Music.
The accusations were reported Friday by The Daily Beast. NBCU CEO Steve Burke told the outlet that Lack “has my complete support. We have worked together closely for over three years during which I have watched him oversee NBC News with great integrity, sound judgment and a focus on doing what’s right. I look forward to continuing to work with Andy and to his continued success as the leader of NBC News.”
The Daily Beast’s report said that after accusations against Charlie Walk surfaced, other executives at Sony asked Lack to act, but he was indecisive. “I kept telling him: ‘You must do something about this. It’s imperative,” one executive told the Beast. “Andy would turn a blind eye to making difficult decisions.”
“Andy Lack is part of the problem if he knew,” one of Walk’s accusers, Pam Kaye, told the Beast. Kaye and other female employees at Sony first accused Walk of harassment in February in a report published in Rolling Stone. Walk subsequently left his position at Republic Records and was fired as a panelist on singing competition “The Four.”
An NBC spokesperson said that “Lack had no knowledge of any allegations against Charlie Walk in the six years he was at Sony. If he did, he would have acted within minutes.” A spokesperson for Sony Music said “No comment,” per the report. Sony Music did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
Lack is also accused for including an executive, David Corvo, on the team that reviewed Ronan Farrow’s reporting on Harvey Weinstein, which the network has come under fire by Farrow himself for passing on. Farrow and his ex-producer at NBC Rich McHugh accused the company of blocking his Weinstein story, which NBC has since denied.
The Daily Beast reports that Corvo had been accused himself of sexual harassment by a female colleague, who told the outlet it went on for nearly three years, though none of it coming during Lack’s tenure.
On the Corvo allegations, NBC News re-iterated to TheWrap the statement it gave to The Daily Beast.
“At a time when different people ran the news division and a different company owned NBC the company investigated a complaint and took effective action, including changing reporting lines,” a spokesperson said. “The individuals departure over a decade later and any compensation paid was completely unrelated to the complaint.”
A network spokesperson continued that Corvo was “not a decision maker on the Weinstein reporting” and said he and two senior women on the review team “were unanimous in affirming that NBC News did not yet have a story that was ready for broadcast.”
Read The Daily Beast’s full report here.