Culture

ESPN Says It Will Investigate Jenn Sterger’s Allegations Of Sexual Harassment


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Monday, ESPN announced it was canceling Barstool Van Talk. The TV show enjoyed an extremely brief run, as PFT Commenter and Barstool Big Cat got one episode of their late-night ESPN2 show before it caught the axe from the Worldwide Leader.

The reasoning behind the decision to cancel the show given by president John Skipper was the backlash the network received from the outside and within over misogynistic Barstool Sports web content and the ill-advised thought they could separate a TV show with Barstool’s name in it from the Barstool Sports brand.

On Tuesday, former New York Jets “Gameday” host Jenn Sterger took to Twitter to call into question the hypocrisy of ESPN wanting to distance itself from Barstool when it had its own issues with sexual harassment. Sterger recanted stories of two visits she had with ESPN in which she found herself harassed by an ESPN employee.

Sterger said she was “uncomfortable” when she was misled into joining them at a strip club in Charlotte after a test for a show and after alerting her bosses to what happened and was admonished for going and “fired before my plane landed in Tampa.” The second incident occurred in 2008 on a trip to Bristol to interview with the same employee that suggested the trip to the strip club, and after a very uncomfortable “meeting” in which she says she was never asked about anything to do with her career, he canceled her car service back to the city and drove her there himself where more uncomfortable conversation took place.

“When the ‘meeting’ was done I went to leave and found out they had cancelled my car home because they said they were ‘already going into the city so they would just take me,’” Sterger recalled. “It was a very long and uncomfortable car ride. He brought up numerous girls he said he was hooking up with that worked there at the time. And implied that he was helping their careers.”

The entire account was disturbing and ESPN released a statement shortly after noting they were unaware of the allegations previously and would launch an investigation.

The allegations are certainly serious and as we’ve seen in recent weeks, the number of stories of sexual harassment in the TV and movie industries are far more prevalent than many knew. Hopefully ESPN takes the allegations and investigation into them seriously to find whoever is responsible — Sterger says that person is now a “decision maker” at ESPN — and get rid of them.

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