National Public Radio (NPR) Senior News Vice President Micheal Oreskes was asked to resign on Wednesday, after he was accused of sexually harassing women at NPR.
Jarl Mohn, President and CEO of NPR, stated in a memo to employees that he asked Mr. Oreskes to resign because of inappropriate behavior.
Five female employees at NPR have filed formal harassment complaints against Oreskes, bringing the total number of complaints filed against him to eight. These new claims cover Oreskes’s tenure at NPR over the past three years.
According to The Washington Post on Tuesday, back in 1990s, when Oreskes was working as the bureau chief at The Times, the women claimed that Mr. Oreskes made inappropriate sexual advances as they were discussing career opportunities.
“Some have asked me if it took published news reports for us to take action,” Mr. Mohn said. “The answer is that it did not. We have been acting. Some of the steps we took were visible, and others weren’t. We have a process in place, and we followed that process.”
In a statement, Mr. Oreskes said: “I am deeply sorry to the people I hurt. My behavior was wrong and inexcusable, and I accept full responsibility.”
After the resignation of Oreskes, NPR host Mary Louise Kelly questioned NPR CEO Jarl Mohn about the way NPR handled these allegations. “If you knew of these multiple allegations, did it cross your mind that leaving Mike in his job might put other women, might put our colleagues, at risk?” she asked.
Kelly questioned why she and other NPR employees were notified of Oreskes’ resignation by an Associated Press story, rather than by their employer. Kelly’s questioning wasn’t just another opinion, as a lot of NPR employees expressed similar dissatisfaction. NPR management was aware of these allegations against Oreskes way before the news item got published in The Washington Post, but didn’t take any action until this week.