ABC News President Requests Independent Investigation into Sexual Assault Claims

ABC News President Requests Independent Investigation into Sexual Assault Claims

On a recent conference call, ABC News President Kim Goodwin announced that she had called for an independent investigation into allegations of sexual assault by former Good Morning America executive producer Michael Corn.

Goodwin’s (pictured) announcement came a day after a lawsuit was filed naming Corn, ABC News, and ABC owner Disney, in a case alleging that Corn sexually harassed an ABC staffer still employed by the company and a ex-staffer in separate incidents. Corn, who is no longer an ABC employee, has denied the charges, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“We can’t have us investigating us. We need an independent person,” Godwin said during a company conference call. “The process has to be independent.”

Godwin, who joined ABC after Corn left, added that both Corn and the accusers would be thoroughly investigated as to their relative roles in the allegations. She also promised that everyone would get due process.

“We are committed to upholding a safe and supportive work environment and have a process in place that thoroughly reviews and addresses complaints that are made, ABC said in a public statement. “ABC News disputes the claims made against it and will address this matter in court.”

The suit filed by current ABC staffer Kirstyn Crawford alleges that Corn assaulted her in an Uber and at a hotel during a business trip in 2015. The suit also details accusations that Corn assaulted former ABC staffer Jill McClain a decade ago when she and Corn worked with World News Tonight.

Corn has denied the allegations and even published friendly emails sent to him by Crawford immediately after the night in question that he says proves she did not feel assaulted at the time. “These are not the words and actions of a woman who had been assaulted,” Corn insisted citing the emails Crawford sent.

Goodwin claimed that she could “speak truth to power” if an investigation discerns the truth of the allegations. “There is a lot of pain… I want people to feel heard,” she said, adding, “The buck stops here with me. If you don’t trust anybody, give me a shot.”

ABC is but one of the networks charged with sexual harassment. In 2018, NBC News chairman Andy Lack was accused of ignoring multiple allegations of sexual harassment throughout his career. And just this month a woman alleged that Horatio Sanz, a cast member of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, sexually assaulted her.

Across the dial, last year, CBS was sued for “rampant” sexual harassment on the set of police procedural show, Criminal Minds. And in 2018, CBS Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves was accused of engaging in sexual misconduct with at least six women dating back two decades.

ABC has had other troubles, too. In 2019, The Rookie star Afton Williamson quit the show, claiming she experienced sexual harassment and racial discrimination on the set.

Cable news has not escaped such charges, either. CNN has also had its troubles. In 2019, for instance, anchor Don Lemon was accused of sexually assaulting a man in the Hamptons in 2018. And Fox News parted ways with star Bill O’Reilly in 2017 after he was accused of sexual harassment.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

Warner Todd Huston