89.1 WEMU

'Mad Men' Creator Defends Himself Against Sexual Harassment Allegations

Nov 21, 2017
Originally published on November 21, 2017 12:27 pm
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner finds himself in an awkward position. He's promoting his first book, at the same time, defending himself against an allegation of sexual harassment. Weiner had just begun making media appearances including an interview on this program when he was accused of making a sexually charged remark to former "Mad Men" writer Kater Gordon. So as you might imagine, Weiner's book tour is not exactly going as planned. Here's NPR's Lynn Neary.

LYNN NEARY, BYLINE: Weiner's first novel, "Heather, The Totality," takes a close look at the consequences of sexual violence. That was part of the reason David Naimon decided to pull out of an interview he was scheduled to do with Weiner at Powell's Books in Portland, Ore. Naimon, who hosts the podcast and radio show "Between The Covers," read that Weiner had denied the accusation and did not want to discuss it on the book tour.

DAVID NAIMON: I was hoping to talk about class and gender and sexual violence in the interview, but all that felt like it would change if I was talking about the book and not also acknowledging the sexual allegations against Matthew Weiner himself. I didn't feel like I could pretend to do that.

NEARY: The Powell's event went forward with a new host, as did appearances at two California-based stores and a store in Cambridge, Mass. But scheduled events in Santa Monica, Calif., Seattle, Wash., and at Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C., were cancelled. All were either unavailable or declined to be interviewed for this story. Weiner gave NPR a statement saying he answered audience questions on all topics at every event, adding he was not surprised about the evolution of the tour. For his part, David Naimon says he has no regrets about his own decision.

NAIMON: For the first time, it feels like women are being believed and that their accusations are being taken seriously, and I felt like I wanted to give Kater Gordon the benefit of the doubt.

NEARY: Lynn Neary, NPR News, Washington.

(SOUNDBITE OF ILYA SANTANA'S "TRANSBORDER") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.