Ronan Farrow’s investigation into disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein was blocked by top officials at NBC, claims a former producer at the station, Rich McHugh. Since last fall, the journalist has written several pieces that revealed sexual assault and harassment by Hollywood higher-ups, including Weinstein. Speaking to The New York Times, McHugh claimed that “the very highest levels of NBC” tried to stop Farrow from covering the Weinstein story at all.
Having recently left his position at NBC, McHugh called their actions a “massive breach of journalistic integrity.” Farrow spent a year reporting into allegations against Weinstein.
“Three days before Ronan and I were going to head to L.A. to interview a woman with a credible rape allegation against Harvey Weinstein, I was ordered to stop, not to interview this woman,” Mr. McHugh told the Times. “And to stand down on the story altogether.”
Farrow eventually took the story to The New Yorker, and the story ultimately won a Pulitzer Prize.
McHugh did not say which NBC officials were involved, but he strongly implied that the network was “killing the Harvey Weinstein story,” he told the Times.
NBC has denied McHugh’s descriptions, offering the following statement: “The assertion that NBC News tried to kill the Weinstein story while Ronan Farrow was at NBC News, or even more ludicrously, after he left NBC News, is an outright lie.
“In August of 2017, after NBC News assigned Ronan Farrow to investigate Weinstein and supported his reporting efforts for eight months, Farrow believed his reporting was ready for air,” the statement goes on to read. “NBC disagreed because, unfortunately, he did not yet have a single victim of — or witness to — misconduct by Weinstein who was willing to be identified.
“Dissatisfied with that decision, Farrow chose to leave for a print outlet that he said was willing to publish immediately,” read the statement. “NBC News told him, ‘We will not stand in your way,’ and allowed him to take his reporting to The New Yorker, where, two months later, he published a strong piece that cited the following victims by name: Asia Argento, Mira Sorvino, Rosanna Arquette, Lucia Evans, Emma de Caunes, Jessica Barth, and Sophie Dix. Not one of these seven women was included in the reporting Farrow presented while at NBC News.”