Oct 28, 2019

Former Fox News employees want release from their NDAs

Gretchen Carlson. Photo: Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

At least six former Fox News employees are calling on their old network to release them from nondisclosure agreements in order to allow them to speak out about potential sexual misconduct during their time at the company, Vanity Fair reports.

Driving the news: NBC News announced Friday it will release former employees from NDAs as it tries to control the damage stemming from allegations in former NBC reporter Ronan Farrow's new book, "Catch and Kill." The former staffers at Fox News — including former host Gretchen Carlson, the first woman to publicly file a lawsuit against former CEO Roger Ailes — are asking the network to follow suit.

"All women at Fox News and beyond forced to sign NDAs should be released from them immediately, giving them back the voices they deserve. None of us asked to get into a workplace dispute. We simply had the courage to stand up and say something—but in the end it's our voices no one can hear. Because of our NDAs, we can never say what is factually correct or incorrect about what happened to us at Fox."
— Carlson to Vanity Fair

The big picture: The media industry has undergone a reckoning in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Women speaking out about sexual misconduct in the workplace has led to the termination of NBC's Matt Lauer, CBS' Les Moonves and Fox News' own Bill O'Reilly and Roger Ailes, among others.

Background: Farrow's new book alleges NBC, his employer at the time, tried to put a stop to his investigation into abuses by Harvey Weinstein, forcing him to take the story to the New Yorker. NBC has denied the allegations.

The bottom line: "Powerful corporations have relied on NDAs to sweep sexual misconduct under the rug, often paying out millions of dollars to keep employees silent about the predatory behavior of senior executives," Diana Falzone writes for Vanity Fair.

Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Go deeper: Highlights from Ronan Farrow's new book "Catch and Kill

Editor's note: This article has been corrected to show that it was Vanity Fair, not Variety, that first reported this story.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg questions NDAs in the #MeToo era

Justice Ginsburg sits in her chambers in 2002. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

A new book on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she hopes that non-disclosure agreements, which have come under fire in sexual misconduct cases, "will not be enforced by the courts," the AP reports.

Why it matters: In "Conversations with RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty, and Law," out this week, the 86-year-old feminist icon questions whether the #MeToo movement will render such secrecy clauses obsolete. Several women, after signing NDAs, had to take financial and legal risks to speak out about their encounters with male predators.

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Anchor caught on tape claiming ABC News suppressed Epstein story

A protest group called "Hot Mess" holds up signs of Jeffrey Epstein in front of a New York federal courthouse. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

ABC News anchor Amy Robach was caught on a hot mic claiming that her network suppressed a bombshell sex trafficking story about Jeffrey Epstein three years ago, according to a video published by right-wing activist group Project Veritas.

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Scoop: NBC News adding digital jobs, but laying off some staffers

Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

NBC News Digital is expanding its staff by 20% over the next year, an addition of roughly 70 jobs across multiple departments — focused on growing its digital streaming service, Axios has learned.

The big picture: The changes are meant to refocus NBC News' video and reporting teams around daily news and custom content.

Go deeperArrowOct 29, 2019