‘Unsafe and Just Plain Dirty’: Women Accuse Vice of ‘Toxic’ Sexual-Harassment Culture


#1

“Though her job hadn’t technically started yet, her boss, then-Editor in Chief Jason Mojica, invited her to join the team at the L.A. Press Club Awards. After accepting an award for public service in journalism, the team from Vice—including Mojica and Kaj Larsen, the bureau chief who had hired Barghouty—celebrated with drinks. By the end of the night, Barghouty says a very drunk Larsen had brought up sex (musing about his chances with a group of “black girls” at the bar), asked her for a ride home, then passed out in her car.

Barghouty says within her first few weeks on the job, Larsen was asking her to meet him at his home in Venice Beach. She thought it was strange, but he was her boss so she complied. As she waited outside his house, she texted a friend her location—“like how you tell a friend before a Tinder date in case you get murdered”—when a shirtless Larsen walked up and told her to come wait inside his bungalow while he took a shower.

Months into her new job, Barghouty says she went to a human-resources representative to voice her concern about the touching and the parties. “When it comes to talent, we can’t really tell them what to do,” Barghouty said she recalls being told. “They bring in the money and attention and you just have to deal with it.” (The representative disputes this account.)”


#2

Oof.
Worth reading the entire article imo.


#3

Well this is bad. I would be interested to hear what everyone at Waypoint has to say regarding this, though I am not sure if they will be allowed to talk about it…


#4

Not exactly a surprise considering the foundation on which Vice was built.


#5

Yeah, I’m expecting very little, if anything, from the Waypoint crew on this topic. Which sucks cause that’s like… the exact opposite of what Waypoint was created to be? To not shy away from topics like this when it hits the industry?

But that’s the way shit goes in this capitalist society where upper management has complete power over your voice.


#6

If I recall correctly, they applauded IGN staff for taking a strong stance and putting their foot down, no? Complacency here would be a bad look.


#7

yeah if Waypoint doesn’t say anything its just a bad look and just hypocritical on their part.


#8

I doubt that the Waypoint crew has any insider information about this stuff. They seem pretty consistant on how they view toxic-masculinity and systemic patriarchy so I’m fine extrapolating for myself how they feel about it.

What’s more interesting to me is considering the “edgy” aspect of this story. It seems that Vice’s content tendencies were being used as a tool of abusers. That’s a tactic that I’m not clear on how to counter at a systemic (HR) level.


#9

If they gonna (be forced to) be silent about this, then what’s the point of Waypoint?

Maybe about “Non-Traditional Workplace Agreement”. That’s awful.


#10

It takes time for them to get the information they need before having a proper saying about this. They need to make sure that the information is certain despite the article being pretty solid.


#11

Agreed. Waypoint must speak truth to power, even when it shines a light in their own house. I get they have legal issues to consider, but if they’re going to call out abusers elsewhere, they need to be consistent.


#12

I mean, they were pretty critical of how long it took for the NeoGaf guy to respond to the accusations, so there’s also a value in timeliness clearly.


#13

I think its pretty obvious that the people at Waypoint find sexual harassment repugnant and I bet they are probably not happy about these revelations, but Vice is their parent company and that might limit what they can do without jeopardizing the site and its employees. If there is any way for them to speak about this though, I hope they do.


#14

Likewise. NPR spoke openly and publically about the sexual harassment allegations against one of their newsroom editors, on their site, in their regular coverage, and in their podcasts. I would hope that Vice would allow their staff to do the same.


#15

And, of course, the IGN staff flat out stopped working until a statement came from corporate, so it’s not like it can’t be done in games journalism.


#16

They can put out initial simple statement of “we looking into it” or something like that. They discussed how not to handle that situation for so many times (sadly)!

But my point is, is it worth to keep this site running in conditions like that, then? What else they would be silent about, one would inevitably wonder?

Yes, I’m harsh here. But it is a serious issue. Very serious.


#17

It could be that the Waypoint team hasn’t seen it yet; I just @‘d Patrick on twitter with a link to the article asking if any of them saw the article earlier today, so hopefully I hear back about that


#18

Regardless of what they choose to do, I feel like there are some folks in this thread hoping for a gotcha moment and I find that pretty offensive.


#19

No, of course, I’m giving them all of the benefits of all of the doubts in the world (they deserve that, I think). I just holding them to pretty high standard.

If you talking about me, then no. I can’t prove that, so I’m not gonna even try. Think what you want.


#20

Yeah, the Waypoint team has been consistently awesome in how they’ve handled/discussed these kinds of topics, so I have no doubt they’ll say something once they know about this. I just wanted to make sure that they do know about it in the first place.