Cable Nets Drop Mark Halperin Projects Amid Sex Harassment Allegations
Several cable networks have distanced themselves from working with political TV pundit Mark Halperin after reports that he allegedly sexually harassed several women while at ABC News.
MSNBC has pulled Halperin from his on-air contributor role for such shows as Morning Joe after CNN reported Wednesday that five women had accused Halperin of sexual harassment while he worked at ABC News more than a decade ago.
“We find the story and the allegations very troubling. Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood,” said an MSNBC spokesman.
HBO Thursday also pulled the plug on a 2016 election project based on a yet-to-be-published book co-authored by Halperin. "HBO is no longer proceeding with the project tied to the untitled book co-authored by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann on the 2016 Presidential election," the network said in a statement. "HBO has no tolerance for sexual harassment within the company or its productions."
Showtime is also weighing its options on whether to bring back its politcal documentary series The Circus, which Halperin has co-hosted for two seasons. "During Mark’s time working with us, we have not seen nor have there been allegations of any untoward behavior," said Showtime in a statement. "We are aware of these reports and will continue to evaluate all options should we decide to move forward with another season of The Circus. There is no tolerance for sexual harassment within Showtime and its productions.”
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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.