HBO has scrapped plans to develop a movie based on Mark Halperin’s book about the 2016 presidential election. The news follows a CNN report Wednesday night that five women have come forward claiming to have been sexually harassed by the political pundit when he was an exec at ABC News.
NBC News, where Halperin is a political analyst, suspended Halperin today pending an investigation.
“HBO is no longer proceeding with the project tied to the untitled book co-authored by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann on the 2016 Presidential election,” the pay cabler said today, adding, “HBO has no tolerance for sexual harassment within the company or its productions.”
Halperin had been attached to co-write the HBO movie. He is best known to some as co-author of the bestselling book Game Change, which HBO made into a movie starring Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin.
Earlier today, Showtime said it had not made a decision on the future of its political series The Circus starring Halperin and John Heilemann but said it is “aware” of the reports, and it will “evaluate all options should we decide to move forward with another season.”
CNN reported Wednesday night that the unnamed women claimed to have been harassed by Halperin when he worked at ABC.
Halperin said in a statement to CNN, “During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me.”
“I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain. For that, I am deeply sorry and I apologize. Under the circumstances, I’m going to take a step back from my day-to-day work while I properly deal with this situation.”