So this is still going on: Lee Abrams did an “exclusive” interview with the online video studio My Damn Channel to further address his controversial departure from the Tribune Co.
“The idea of creating a hostile or sexist environment is just ridiculous,” he said. “You can ask people who worked with me directly … That one is just, I don’t see that. I did speak my mind, but never in a hostile way. That’s ridiculous.”
In case you were hiding under a rock a few weeks ago, here’s what happened: On Oct. 6, The New York Times published an explosive piece detailing the fratty, sex-talk-fuelled behaviour of Tribune Company executives. Despite the massive PR crisis this triggered, Abrams, Tribune’s chief innovation officer and a former shock jock, nevertheless found it appropriate to fire off a company-wide memo incorporating the word “sluts” with a link to an Onion video featuring scantily-clad and apparently intoxicated women, one of whom pours alcohol all over her bare chest.
“I would have hoped that the use of a brilliant parody to demonstrate the ills of popular TV would have been an effective communication vehicle and that people would have taken it as it was intended; a parody that illustrates what not to do,” Abrams said in his own defence after offering his resignation, which the Tribune’s board had called for, on Oct. 15. (Tribune CEO Randy Michaels also resigned as a result of the scandal.)
So what more does Abrams have to say for himself? We’ll let him tell you in his own words:
It’s important what my intentions were, which was to try to create some new thinking. I never told anyone what to do. I would offer thoughts, new ways of approaching things. Television guys got it, print, some people did, a lot didn’t. The intention was just to help them. It’s a very challenged medium and I never wanted to do anything other than help. I probably picked the wrong kind of environment to force the kind of change that needs to be done. It was blown out of proportion. There was so much drama involved. It’s just crazy … And also, people who read my response note can see that there’s a lot of political motivation here … When people write about it, it’s just so one-sided.
Watch the video below:
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