Vice Media Union Calls Company’s Response to Misconduct Claims ‘Deeply Flawed’

Sexual harassment survivors have felt “ignored” by company, according to union statement

Last Updated: March 16, 2018 @ 10:57 AM

Vice Media employees flooded Twitter on Friday morning, sharing a union statement criticizing the digital outlet for its “deeply flawed” approach to investigating claims of workplace harassment.

“Despite the company’s repeated commitments, in pubic and private, to respond to decisively to sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other misconduct, current and former employees have made clear that the investigation process remains deeply flawed,” the statement from Vice Union said. “A disconcerting pattern is emerging of the company asking survivors to come forward with their stories of workplace harassment and abuse, with the implication that they will be treated seriously and professionally, only for survivors to report that they feel ignored or are forced to chase after updates.”

Many Vice workers shared the statement with the same caption: “I’m a member of Vice Union, and stand in solidarity with survivors.”

The statement is related to the sexual misconduct claims from former TV host Billie JD Porter, insiders told TheWrap. In a January post on Instagram, Porter accused her former Vice supervisor of giving her alcohol and drugs when she was still a minor and asking her to perform sexual acts on him.

“We are confident in, and stand by, the integrity of our investigation, as well as the Company’s response,” Vice said in a statement to TheWrap on Friday.  “We conducted the investigation, as we do all investigations, in a thorough, fair and sensitive manner, and listened to and responded to Ms. Porter throughout the process. We took timely and appropriate steps, including the dismissal of an employee.”
Porter pushed back against Vice’s statement, in a response to TheWrap.
“The fact that Vice have stated they are ‘confident’ in their response to the information I gave them is extremely concerning to me,” said Porter. “The evidence I provided in my Medium post speaks for itself. Their Human Resources department is not equipped to handle these matters.”

The go-to outlet for many millennials and Gen Z’ers has been under fire since last fall, when a Daily Beast report called Vice a “toxic environment, where men could be abusive, and some women were manipulated into thinking that acquiescing to that abuse was the only way to advance.”

Heads started to roll in the aftermath, with three Vice employees fired in December for sexual harassment and “other behavior that is inconsistent with our policies,” according to the company. And in January, TheWrap first reported Chief Digital Officer Mike Germano was fired for sexual misconduct.

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