Disney Decides To Not Investigate Into ABC Sexual Assault Cases: WSJ

Walt Disney Co. DIS does not plan to launch an independent investigation into how ABC News handled sexual assault allegations against the former top producer for “Good Morning America,” the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

What Happened: Simone Swink, the executive producer of GMA, told ABC staff during a meeting this week that an outside investigation into the departure of Michael Corn as senior executive producer of the news program is not happening “at this time,” as per the report.

Swink, ABC News President Kim Godwin and other top ABC staffers were told by Disney executive Peter Rice that it was beyond his “sphere of influence” to ask for an outside investigation.

Swink also reportedly said that an internal investigation could not be done as ABC is in the middle of active litigation.

See Also: Why BofA Remains A Disney Bull Despite Disappointing Q4 Outlook

Why It Matters: ABC News is a defendant in the lawsuit filed last month that alleges Corn sexually assaulted a current as well as a former ABC News staffer in separate incidents. Corn was ousted from the company in April.

ABC News is accused of failing to take disciplinary action despite receiving complaints from several women about Corn’s conduct. The company has reportedly said it disputes the claims and will address the matter in court.

Other companies too have been recently accused for failing to take action against complaints by employees of sexual harassment.

It was reported earlier this week that the Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation into how videogame publishing giant Activision Blizzard Inc. ATVI handled employees’ allegations of sexual misconduct and workplace discrimination.

An Apple Inc. AAPL senior engineer said in August that she had been placed on indefinite administrative leave after raising concerns about sexism.

Price Action: Disney shares closed 1.5% higher in Thursday’s trading at $176.25.

Photo: Courtesy of ABC

Market News and Data brought to you by Benzinga APIs
Posted In: NewsMediaABC NewsMichael CornPeter RiceSexual assaultWSJ
Benzinga simplifies the market for smarter investing

Trade confidently with insights and alerts from analyst ratings, free reports and breaking news that affects the stocks you care about.

Join Now: Free!