Expressing concern that the Democratic Party has not clearly aligned itself with survivors rather than corporate entities which protect and enable people accused of abuse, four presidential candidates on Monday called on NBC and its parent company Comcast to commit to an independent investigation into the network’s “toxic culture”—including reports of sexual violence—before Wednesday’s Democratic primary debate.
Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) demanded of Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez that the party’s leadership pressure NBC into opening a thorough probe into “the toxic culture that enabled abusers and silenced survivors.”
“Everyone on the side of survivors has a role to play in using their influence to push Comcast and NBC to do the right thing. The DNC has leverage as a critical media partner in the 2020 election and they owe it to survivors to use it.”
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“Donald Trump has been credibly accused of sexual harassment and sexual abuse by dozens of women,” the senators wrote. “We, as a party, have to offer voters a clear and unquestionable difference come November when it comes to these important issues. We cannot do that when we prop up and support companies that have systematically covered up numerous incidents of sexual violence with no accountability or changes of leadership.”
The letter was coordinated by women’s advocacy group UltraViolet, which has for weeks demanded an outside investigation into NBC leadership’s alleged cover-up of longtime anchor Matt Lauer’s sexual misconduct and other credible claims of the company’s toxic culture.
The group applauded the lawmakers for adding their voices to the call for justice for survivors at NBC.
Last month, UltraViolet held a rally and press conference outside NBC‘s headquarters in New York and delivered to the company more than 20,000 petitions calling for the firing of top network executives; safety for accusers at the network through anonymous reporting channels and protection from retaliation; and an independent investigation into NBC‘s decision not to air reports about at least three powerful accused sexual abusers in order to cover up accusations against Lauer.
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