A former writer on the hit series Mad Men has accused showrunner Matthew Weiner of sexual harassment.
Kater Gordon, who won Emmy and Writers Guild of America awards for her work on the AMC show, told The Information that Weiner made a lewd suggestion to her during a late-night writing session in the production office in September 2009.
“He told me that I owed it to him to let him see me naked,” Gordon said, adding that she tried to brush off the comment. The writer said the incident crushed her confidence, as she was unsure whether she was really employed for her writing abilities. She was let go a year later.
Weiner denied the allegation in a statement through a spokesperson, which read: “Mr. Weiner spent eight to ten hours a day writing dialogue aloud with Miss Gordon, who started on Mad Men as his writers assistant. He does not remember saying this comment nor does it reflect a comment he would say to any colleague.”
The statement also highlighted the number of women who wrote for the series, saying Weiner “has long believed in and implemented an egalitarian working environment including the highest levels of production and writing based on mutual respect for all.”
There is indeed a great irony to Gordon’s allegation, since workplace sexism in the 1960s and the beginnings of the modern feminist movement were major themes on Mad Men, which aired from 2007 to 2015.
It now seems that the second half of 2017 may itself go down in history as a moment of significant social change, thanks to the flood of revelations of sexual harassment and assault by high-profile individuals—mainly, but not exclusively against women—in the entertainment industry, politics and elsewhere.
Gordon, who is forming a non-profit called Modern Alliance to help victims of sexual harassment, said she was inspired to come forward by reading the allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Others recently accused of sexual harassment and assault include actor Kevin Spacey, comedian Louis C.K., actor Steven Seagal, prominent tech “evangelist” Robert Scoble, Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, and now-former British defense secretary Michael Fallon.