NBC has taken the odd step of cracking down on hugging and imploring its employees to tattle on each other on punishment of termination—two drastic measures done in the wake of the Matt Lauer sexual harassment scandal.
Since Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment by a host of female models, journalists, and actresses both present and former, hundreds of women and even a few men have come forward with their own stories of workplace harassment, sexual assault, and even rape by powerful men in the media, catalyzing in the nationwide #MeToo movement.
NBC has also been accused of helping to cover up the Weinstein scandal by suppressing a report by Ronan Farrow on the disgraced movie producer.
In November, Matt Lauer was accused of sexual abuse by a former NBC intern. The network found his actions to be “a clear violation” of its workplace policies following an investigation.
According to insiders, Lauer’s office—like many other executives at 30 Rockefeller Center, were designed with buttons that allowed them to lock their doors from their desks. Two women who spoke to Variety told the publication that the trap allowed Lauer to “welcome female employees and initiate inappropriate contact while knowing nobody could walk in on him.”
Page Six reported this week that “NBC employees have been ordered to report any inappropriate relationships in the workplace—and if they fail to do so, they could be fired for covering up for colleagues.”
Additionally, the company’s newly implemented draconian anti-harassment policies stipulate that employees who wish to hug each other will “have to do a quick hug, then an immediate release, and step away to avoid body contact,” according to a source.
Employees are also banned from sharing cabs, or even “taking vegans to steakhouses.” It is unclear what specific incident may have brought about the latter rule.