Local broadcaster Mediacorp has taken disciplinary action against a cameraman for his inappropriate conduct towards Channel NewsAsia producer (CNA) Juwon Park.
In a Facebook post last week, Miss Park shared screenshots of a WhatsApp conversation she had with the colleague, where she confronted him for making sexist remarks about her.
Miss Park alleged that the man had told her: “I cannot be a presenter because I have no boobs” and “girls shouldn’t be too smart for their own good and I should act dumb”.
He then responded by saying, “I’m so sorry if it hurt you” and “it was meant to be a joke”. However, he also added that “it’s how the industry works”, implying that a woman either has to be “super pretty” or “have boobs” in order to succeed.
The post, titled “Sexism in 2017” is no longer publicly accessible.
Miss Park, who previously interned at Bloomberg, Associated Press and Google, said in a subsequent post that this was not a one-off incident in her one and a half year stint at Mediacorp.
However, she said that her concerns were always brushed off by both male and female colleagues who called her “unlucky”.
In response to the incident, a Mediacorp spokesman said: “We have concluded that the allegations are valid and have taken the necessary disciplinary action against the staff who had made the inappropriate remarks.”
The New Paper reported that following Miss Park’s posts, other producers in Mediacorp have also come forward to its management to share similar experiences.
The spokesman added: “Further to Juwon’s complaints, other colleagues have since brought forth allegations of inappropriate conduct by the staff in question and by two freelancers who work in the same unit as him.
“We are investigating the allegations against the freelancers and will not hesitate to take appropriate action.
“We embrace the diversity of our workforce and will fight any form of discrimination or harassment that threatens our core values.
“Our code of business conduct and ethics states that we do not condone any form of harassment and that employees who know of or witness inappropriate behaviours should report them.
“All employees of Mediacorp sign a renewed commitment to this code every year.”
According to TNP, Miss Park, who had already been serving notice last week, has been released from her two-month notice period and that she has given back her media pass and work pass to Mediacorp.
She wrote in a public Facebook post on Tuesday (Oct 10) that “it has been the most difficult week in my life.”
Besides bearing the brunt of “very graphic and disgusting” comments on online forums, Miss Park said she was also shunned by even her closest colleagues, while some blamed her for being unable to “take jokes”.
Describing it as a “painful” experience, she added: “I don’t regret that I spoke up– although it probably left some mud in my reputation and future job prospect. I spoke up because I cannot justify my job if I cannot even speak up for myself.”
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