“We have recently learned that Matt Zimmerman engaged in inappropriate conduct with more than one woman at NBCU, which violated company policy,” the news division said in a statement. “As a result he has been dismissed.”
Zimmerman had been with NBC News since 2004, and in ’14 was named senior vp of the division’s streamlined guest booking operation.
Zimmerman’s exit comes about two weeks after NBC News terminated its contract with Mark Halperin, four days after suspending him when five women claimed the veteran journalist had sexually harassed them when he was working for ABC News.
Claims of sexual harassment and abuse are rife in the TV industry since the New York Times and New Yorker published their first reports of women claiming to have been harassed, assaulted, and raped by media mogul Harvey Weinstein, opening the floodgate.
Among the developments of just the past few days, Arrow and The Flash producer Andrew Kreisberg has been suspended, Louis C.K. accuser Rebecca Corry told Good Morning America she kept quiet for years about his asking to masturbate in front of her while she was working on a TV comedy pilot because she did not want to be part of his “narrative.” TBS suspended production on C.K.’s animated comedy series The Cops, HBO pulled C.K. from its Nov. 18 Night of Too Many Stars special and the pay TV network also pulled all of the comedian’s content from their HBO On-Demand service. Netflix opted not to move ahead with a second C.K. stand-up special. And FX ended its overall deal with his production company.
News-division allegations have largely been confined to Fox News, where both primetime star Bill O’Reilly and boss Roger Ailes were pushed out after multiple of sexual harassment became public knowledge.
Women feeling safe to come forward are not confined to this industry. On Monday another woman came forward and held a presser in which she accused Roy Moore of trying to force her to perform oral sex on him when she was 16. About an hour before reports of NBC News ousting Zimmerman, Attorney General Jeff Sessions took tough questions before the House Judiciary Committee as to whether he would investigate Moore if, as expected, Alabama voters give him the win in the December 12 special election to take the senate seat formerly held by AG Sessions, despite the growing number of women who have made on-the-record claims about Moore.
Also Tuesday, California’s Dem Rep. Jackie Speier testified today that two current members of Congress are known sexual harassers, accusing the unnamed colleagues of grabbing the “private parts” of victims on the House floor” and also of “exposing their genitals.”