CBS Corp. has terminated “60 Minutes” producer Jeff Fager’s contract following a bombshell New Yorker article that accused the “60 Minutes” executive producer of sexual harassment.
Fager’s departure comes days after CBS announced the departure of its former CEO and chairman, Les Moonves, not long after two New Yorker articles detailed accusations of sexual misconduct against him.
Six former employees told The New Yorker that Fager would touch employees inappropriately while inebriated at company events, including an incident in which Fager allegedly commented on an associate producer’s breasts and then became “belligerent” when she refused his drunken advances. Fager denied the allegations to The New Yorker in an article that was published online in July.
Fager and CBS both claim that the departure is not “directly related” to the allegations against him, which are being independently investigated. CBS released an internal memo claiming Fager “violated company policy.”
“The company’s decision had nothing to do with the false allegations printed in the New Yorker,” Fager said Wednesday in a statement obtained by CNN. “Instead they terminated my contract early because I sent a text message to one of our CBS reporters demanding that she be fair in covering the story. My language was harsh and, despite the fact that journalists receive harsh demands for fairness all the time, CBS did not like it.”
Fager is also accused of protecting other predators and encouraging a “frat house” atmosphere. Several employees told The New Yorker about an incident in which senior producer Vicki Gordon informed Fager that a fellow producer, Michael Radutzky, twisted her arm behind her back and threatened to throw office furniture at her.
Fager denied the accusations that he allowed a culture of harassment and violence to persist under his watch.
“It is wrong that our culture can be falsely defined by a few people with an axe to grind who are using an important movement as a weapon to get even, and not by the hundreds of women and men that have thrived, both personally and professionally, at ‘60 Minutes,’” Fager told The New Yorker.
Clarification: A previous version of this story said Fager denied the allegations to the New Yorker in August. The article was released online in July for an August issue of the magazine.