A lawsuit filed by a producer who works closely with Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos has reportedly set off a firestorm behind the scenes at ABC. According to insiders at the network, Stephanopoulos and his GMA co-host Robin Roberts have allegedly been having it out over his handling of the sexual assault claims brought forth by Kirstyn Crawford against a former senior executive producer of the popular morning show.
#MeToo Comes To ABC
Though ABC was initially able to avoid #MeToo scandals that sunk the careers of NBC’s Matt Lauer and CBS’ Charlie Rose, a new bombshell lawsuit has revealed that the network behind popular morning show Good Morning America was quietly battling its own sexual assault allegations behind the scenes.
What’s The ABC Lawsuit about
Kirstyn Crawford, a producer who works with George Stephanopoulos on GMA, recently filed a lawsuit against a former top producer on the show, Michael Corn, alleging that he sexually assaulted her and contributed to a toxic work environment. In response to the lawsuit, ABC, who is also listed as a defendant in the suit, disputed the claims and vowed to fight them in court. Corn has also denied the allegations.
According to four sources close to the situation who spoke with the Daily Beast, Robin Roberts became emotional during a team-wide call regarding the lawsuit. Multiple sources said she declared, “If this happened to someone on my team, I would have burned the place down.” Those that heard the remark said it was not-so-subtly directed at Roberts’ GMA co-host Stephanopoulos, to whom Crawford first went with her allegations of sexual assault.
Crawford alleged in the suit that she approached Stephanopoulos about the matter four years ago, though he continued to work with Corn until the former executive producer left the network earlier this year. After another woman, Jill McClain, who works with Diane Sawyer at World News where Corn had previously worked as an executive producer, also alleged that she was sexually assaulted by him and together with Crawford approached management on the matter, Corn departed the network and became president of news for NewsNation.
George Stephanopouslos ‘Livid’ Over Robin Roberts’ Comment?
According to people familiar with the situation, Stephanopoulos became “livid” after Roberts’ comment made its way to him, but that narrative is being denied by an ABC News spokesperson. “Robin and George are fine,” spokesperson Caragh Fisher said in a statement to the Daily Beast. Though she declined to comment on questions about whether other women had come out with further allegations about Corn, she added, “She told him personally that she wasn’t referring to him and called the team the next day to reiterate that her comment was not about any one individual.”
Interestingly, the spokesperson did not deny that Roberts made the comment. This is obviously a very tense situation and emotions are clearly high at the popular morning show. That being said, it’s unwise to give too much credence to claims of rampant infighting behind the scenes. As the case continues to play out in court, more information will become available. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates.