Recently, snowboarding Olympic gold-medalist, Shaun White, was accused of sexual harassment by a woman who was his bandmate in 2016. The accusations were in a lawsuit that was settled privately. Given all the recent media attention about sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement, it is somewhat surprising that NBC did not highlight the sexual harassment claims in any of their featured stories about Shaun White during the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Avoiding the Topic
NBC had the exclusive rights in the United States to televise the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. Before White went on to win another gold medal, NBC had featured a piece that detailed how White won gold medals in the past for his snowboarding skills, then went on to place fourth in the 2014 Sochi Olympics and had a very bad accident in 2017. The accident required him to be airlifted and admitted into the ICU for five days. He had to endure surgery on his ankle and have over sixty stiches to his face. NBC painted White as the quintessential come-back kid but neglected to mention the sexual harassment lawsuit or settlement.
The lawsuit alleged that White sent sexually explicit text messages, made comments about sexual acts that the woman should perform with her boyfriend, told her to wear more revealing clothing, and dictated the color of makeup she should wear, among other sexually inappropriate behavior. White was funding the band at the time. The victim alleged that his behavior became worse after he did not win a medal at the 2014 Olympics.
After White won a gold medal in February 2018, a press conference immediately followed where he was questioned about the lawsuit. White was dismissive and made it clear that he only wanted to discuss the Olympics and referred to the lawsuit as gossip. An NBC anchor then gave him a chance to apologize for his choice of wording but did not press him further about the details of the lawsuit. White later went on to issue a statement in The New York Times regarding the lawsuit.
Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Advocate for All Victims of Sexual Misconduct in the Workplace
Although employees may feel intimidated to bring forth sexual harassment claims, it is important to report inappropriate behavior to an employer and take the additional steps needed to preserve your rights by contacting an experienced attorney. Sexual harassment at work is never acceptable.
If you have experienced sexual harassment at work, contact a Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. at 215-569-1999 or contact us online for a free case evaluation. Our experienced attorneys will review your case to advise you on the next steps to take toward justice. We are centrally located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and we serve clients from the surrounding areas.