'The View' Hosts Call for 'Purge' of NBC Execs

October 14, 2019

The hosts of ABC's The View called for NBC to fire executives who helped cover up sex scandals.

Appearing on The View Monday, Ronan Farrow, the reporter behind a bombshell story on sexual assault in Hollywood, discussed new allegations that NBC executives covered up former Today anchor Matt Lauer's predatory behavior. Several View hosts asked why NBC had not fired executives involved in the cover-up and even called for a "purge" at the network.

"You have to be willing to purge and willing to move forward because whatever Fox News is, they were willing to do that," co-host Whoopi Goldberg said, referring to Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly leaving Fox News after allegations of sexual harassment.

Farrow was an employee of NBC News until the network took steps to kill his story about Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. In his new book Catch and Kill, Farrow alleges that NBC wilted under pressure from Weinstein to bury the story—in part because Weinstein threatened to expose Lauer's behavior.

"Will the current management at NBC survive?" co-host Meghan McCain asked Farrow. "Reading this, it's hard to understand why they still have jobs."

"I agree," co-host Sunny Hostin interjected. "Why do they still have jobs? We're talking about [NBC News chairman] Andy Lack, we're talking about [NBC News president] Noah Oppenheim—people that killed your story for various reasons, they say."

Oppenheim called Farrow, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his Weinstein exposé, a liar in a message to NBC employees. Oppenheim derided Farrow's account as a "conspiracy theory." Lauer has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by multiple women, charges he denies. NBC has claimed that it had no prior knowledge of Lauer's conduct, and acted swiftly to fire him in November 2017.

Farrow said he gave Oppenheim and Lack the chance to rebut his reporting. He added that some of the executives who buried his story have also been accused of sexual misconduct.

"Whatever the reasons, and their rebuttals are included in full in this book, they killed that story [about Weinstein]," Farrow said. "There's multiple women on the record alleging misconduct against Andy Lack."

"There's a depiction of a chain of command that I think people are correctly raising questions about," Farrow added.

McCain pointed out that NBC's refusal to back down has differentiated it from other networks rocked by sex scandals.

"There was more of a societal outcry about Fox management, and I just think it's interesting, working at Fox, heads rolled very quickly," McCain said.

"And CBS," Farrow added, alluding to the ouster of former CBS chairman and CEO Les Moonves following a 2018 New Yorker report.

Hostin repeated that she doesn't imagine these NBC executives will keep their jobs.