Former ABC entertainment president Steve McPherson abruptly resigned as the network was investigating sexual harassment claims against him by several female executives, the Hollywood Reporter reported on Wednesday.
Citing a source it did not name, THR said multiple harassment complaints were leveled against the six-year entertainment chief, and that the network was three weeks into its investigation when he resigned on Tuesday, the eve of the Television Critics Association's Press Tour.
The complaints, the Reporter says, involved several women, including some executives and on-air talent.
Tom Hoberman, an attorney for McPherson, quickly issued the following statement:
"Upon Steve McPherson returning to work from his vacation on Monday, he made a voluntary decision to resign and ABC accepted his resignation. It is not uncommon for high level executives to be the subject of gossip and innuendo. That would includes rumors of internal situations which can easily be misinterpreted or misrepresented. Seems like it goes with the territory, and there is nothing further to discuss."
ABC did not comment on the report, referring only to McPherson's statement following his resignation announcement on Tuesday. ABC employees reached byTheWrap said they were unaware of the situation; multiple network sources said on Tuesday that they were blindsided by McPherson's departure.
And Nina Tassler, McPherson's counterpart at rival CBS, kicked off Press Tour when she quipped: "Damn, Steve got out of Press Tour!"