Vice Media co-founders apologize for ‘boy’s membership’ surroundings at agency

(Reuters) – Vice Media co-founders issued an apology on Saturday, saying the Millennial-focused media firm had allowed a “boy’s membership” environment that included sexual harassment to flourish.

Vice Chief Government Officer Shane Smith and co-founder Suroosh Alvi launched an announcement after the New York Instances revealed a narrative outlining 4 settlements by the corporate involving allegations of sexual harassment or defamation in opposition to Vice staff. The newspaper additionally reported that greater than two dozen girls had skilled or witnessed sexual misconduct on the firm.

Within the emailed assertion despatched to Reuters addressing Vice employees, Smith and Alvi stated three staff had been fired for “unacceptable habits.” Smith and Alvi additionally laid out steps the corporate is taking to enhance the work environment for girls, together with hiring a brand new human sources chief and committing to equal pay for women and men by the tip of 2018.

“From the highest down, we’ve failed as an organization to create a secure and inclusive office the place everybody, particularly girls, can really feel revered and thrive,” they stated.

In apologizing for permitting the “inappropriate habits” to permeate the corporate, Smith and Alvi stated previous dysfunction and mismanagement had been allowed to “flourish unchecked.” They added that they wished to specific “excessive remorse for our function in perpetuating sexism within the media business and society generally.”

Neither Smith nor Alvi had been accused of misconduct within the New York Instances story. A spokesman for Vice didn’t reply to a request for additional touch upon the story.

Vice, which began as a Montreal punk journal in 1994, attracted high traders in recent times because the multimedia firm developed right into a information and leisure platform that catered to Millennials.

The Walt Disney Co owns an 18 % stake. Personal fairness agency TPG in June invested $450 million in Vice, valuing Vice at about $5.7 billion. Representatives for each Disney and TPG couldn’t instantly be reached for remark about Vice’s apology.

Different modifications outlined Saturday by Vice embrace the formation of a range board that features feminist icon Gloria Steinem, clarified sexual harassment insurance policies, and expanded maternity and paternity leaves.

Reporting by Ben Klayman; enhancing by Diane Craft

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