After months of speculation in media circles, The New York Times published its investigation into sexual harassment at Vice Media on Saturday morning.
Vice Media, which began as a Canadian punk magazine 23 years ago, has become a Millennial media darling, known for its hip, provocative culture even as it has taken financial investment from media giants such asw Fox and Disney, built out a HBO presence and established its creative agency.
The New York Times report, written by Emily Steel, detailed four settlements as a result of allegations of sexual harassment or defamation against Vice employees, including its current president, Andrew Creighton. The lengthy article also detailed allegations of sexual misconduct experienced or witnessed by more than two dozen women.
“Listening to our employees over the past year, the truth is inescapable: from the top down, we have failed as a company to create a safe and inclusive workplace where everyone, especially women, can feel respected and thrive. Cultural elements from our past, dysfunction and mismanagement were allowed to flourish unchecked. That includes a detrimental ‘boy’s club’ culture that fostered inappropriate behavior that permeated throughout the company,” Vice said in a statement to the Times.
“Throughout our history, we’ve undergone seismic change and reinvention, but we did not keep pace with that growth by putting into place the internal policies and structures that would prevent disparate treatment toward some of our employees,” the statement concluded.
In recent months, as rumors and reports about The New York Times story circulated, the Brooklyn-based media company took steps to proactively combat the charges, including the formation of “Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board” and enlisting the aid of Gloria Steinem, as well as terminating three employees, hiring a new female head of human resources, and working to clarify its sexual harassment policies.