sexual harassment | KUOW News and Information

sexual harassment

Updated at 9:48 a.m. ET

PBS will no longer distribute Tavis Smiley following what a spokeswoman called "multiple, credible" allegations of sexual misconduct uncovered by a recent investigation into the late-night show host's behavior.

Nearly 9 in 10 Americans believe that "a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment is essential to bringing about change in our society."

At a time when partisan opinions are so polarized on a range of issues, Republicans and Democrats are relatively similar in believing that society should crack down hard on sexual harassment, a new poll from Ipsos and NPR suggests.

The long and growing list of high-profile men losing their jobs amid sexual-harassment allegations speaks to a big cultural sea change. But is that shift driven by generational differences in how sexual harassment is viewed, or by bigger changes in the workplace?

Seattle executive consultant Kim Arellano has taught classes on generational differences, and says sexual harassment makes for the liveliest discussions.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, center, looks at election returns with staff during an election-night watch party at the RSA activity center, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in Montgomery, Ala.
AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., Charlie Rose, and others were swiftly fired after allegations against them broke. But Roy Moore came within 1.5 percent of being elected to the U.S. Senate. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is still on the bench. And Donald Trump is still in the White House, as was Bill Clinton following his own transgressions.

When it comes to claims of sexual misconduct, why are media figures being held to a higher standard than public officials?

Seattle writer Ijeoma Oluo
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Bill Radke talks to Laura Kipnis, author of the book "Unwanted Advances," and Ijeoma Oluo, Seattle writer and editor at large of the Establishment, about  power, behavior and how you change the culture around sexual harassment. 

Reporter, broadcaster, and author Dan Rather in the KUOW studios on December 8, 2017.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer


Dan Rather knows exactly what question he’d ask President Donald Trump in an interview: What are you so afraid of?

Rather told Bill Radke he’d start this way: “Mr. President, of what are you afraid? You have indicated by word and deed that you are very afraid of something."

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, left, playfully interrupted Seattle City Councilmember Debora Juarez as Juarez spoke about the renovation of KeyArena, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Seattle.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Seattle officials have approved plans for a $600 million renovation of KeyArena. Many people are hoping the redesign will attract a new professional sports team to the city. City Councilmember Debora Juarez led the legislation. She was also among the female council members targeted by venomous comments and threats when they denied plans for a separate sports arena in the Sodo neighborhood. 

This story has been updated

Washington state Rep. Matt Manweller has been placed on paid leave from his job as a professor at Central Washington University pending an investigation into allegations of inappropriate conduct.

The university released no details of the allegations, but said in a statement that the investigation will be conducted by an outside investigator and “will be thorough, objective, and fair."

Previously Manweller has been accused of sexually harassing and even propositioning females students at the university—allegations he denies.

Celebrity chef Mario Batali is stepping aside from directing his restaurants and taking leave from his TV cooking show following reports of sexual misconduct over a 20-year period.

The move was apparently spurred by a report published Monday morning on the dining and food website Eater, in which four women allege that Batali touched them inappropriately:

Week in Review: Friday, December 8, 2017

Dec 8, 2017
KUOW PHOTO/JASON PAGANO

This week, Senator Al Franken said he'll be resigning his Senate seat over accusations of sexual harassment, and some liberals are not celebrating. They want Democrats to resign only when President Trump does. What's the right thing to do?

A fiery top Republican in the Washington Legislature is facing renewed scrutiny over allegations he sexually harassed students as a professor at Central Washington University.

Senator Patty Murray in the KUOW offices, Jan. 2016.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Minnesota Senator Al Franken said today he'll resign in the coming weeks. He's repeatedly apologized as several women accused him of sexually inappropriate behavior.

Updated at 7:51 p.m. ET

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., plans to announce his resignation on Thursday, a Democratic official tells Minnesota Public Radio. The official spoke to Franken and key aides, MPR News reports.

Franken's office, however, says that "no final decision has been made."

Bill Radke talks to the New York Times' Gender Editor Jessica Bennett about the fact that so many of the high-profile men who have been accused of workplace sexual harassment and assault also decided what stories we all had access to, from movies and TV to news coverage. Bennett has been writing about this in her newsletter for the NYT, The #MeTooMoment.  

Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan’s first week in office saw housing help for low-income families, a study of the city’s Race and Social Justice Initiative and a proposal for two years of free community college tuition for public high school graduates. We’ll look ahead to the challenges to come.

Pramila Jayapal
Flickr Photo/Joe Mabel (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/zznt82

Kim Malcolm talks with Rep. Pramila Jayapal about why she believes Sen. Al Franken should step down from Congress. On Tuesday, Jayapal also called for Rep. John Conyers to resign. Both men face multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

Women who signed a “Stand With Us” anti-harassment letter to Washington legislative leaders in November say they want a “safe, neutral space” to formally and informally report allegations of misconduct.

Updated at 2:32 p.m. ET

Garrison Keillor, the creator and former host of A Prairie Home Companion, has been accused of inappropriate behavior with someone who worked with him, according to Minnesota Public Radio, which has announced it is cutting ties with Keillor and his production company.

Courtesy of Lily Loofbourow

Bill Radke talks with Lili Loofbourow, culture critic for The Week about The Myth of the Male Bumbler.

Updated at 5:11 p.m. ET

Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken is facing a second allegation that he groped a woman without consent while her husband took a photo of her with the senator at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.

Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor has announced he may be leaving the hit Amazon series after two women accused him of sexual harassment.

Tambor continues to deny the allegations leveled this month by one of his co-stars on the show and by his former assistant. But the actor intimated his departure from the show, in a statement provided to NPR, due to a recent "politicized atmosphere" on the set.

In a new hour-long special, "Sexual Harassment: A Moment of Reckoning," Weekend Edition Sunday host Lulu Garcia-Navarro takes a deep dive into a national conversation that is growing louder by the day.

KUOW PHOTO/MEGAN FARMER

Seattle mayor-elect Jenny Durkan assembles her transition team, and the City Council rejects a head tax on big Seattle businesses – for now. We'll cover the latest from City Hall as Durkan's swearing-in fast approaches.

As NPR's Board of Directors meet in Washington, D.C., this week, the network finds itself confronted by a series of dispiriting developments: a CEO on medical leave; a chief news executive forced out over sexual harassment allegations; the sudden resignation of a board chairman; fresh complaints over inappropriate behavior by colleagues; and a network roiled by tensions over the treatment of its female workers.

This week, another big name in tech was toppled by accusations of sexual harassment — venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson, an investor in Tesla and SpaceX who left his prominent Silicon Valley company.

The big-money world of Silicon Valley remains dominated by men and remains a hard place for women to speak out if they want to join the ranks of its richest. And some women think the best way to fight harassment is to tread carefully and get to the top.

In response to recent reports about sexual harassment at the Washington state Capitol, a state Senate committee voted Tuesday night to require all senators and staff to take annual sexual harassment training.

The vote by the Senate’s Facilities and Operations Committee was unanimous.

On Oct. 5, The New York Times published an article detailing alleged sexual misconduct by film executive Harvey Weinstein that dated back nearly three decades.

The article featured evidence and interviews describing a pattern in which the film producer would invite young women to a business meeting, sometimes in his hotel room, and then sexually assault or harass them.

Beginning next year, Washington state senators and Senate staff will be required to take annual sexual harassment training. The Senate’s operations committee unanimously approved that requirement at a meeting Tuesday night.

Two female lawmakers accused sitting members of Congress of sexual harassment but did not divulge their identities, at a House hearing Tuesday.

"This is about a member who is here now; I don't know who it is. But somebody who I trust told me the situation," said Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., a member of the House Administration Committee, which is conducting a review of existing policies to prevent and report sexual harassment.

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