Mad Men wasn't just a critically acclaimed show; it was a look into a darker side of the often glorified 1960s. While other shows and movies about that era glossed over the era's rampant sexual harassment and sexism, Mad Men focused on it. Hell, it's even been praised as a "feminist show" for giving the women it objectified a voice. But a new allegation directed at series creator Matthew Weiner has left us wondering why the women in the writer's room weren't empowered the same way characters like Joan and Peggy were.
According to Deadline, writer Kater Gordon, who worked on the series, has accused Weiner of sexual harassment, telling The Information that he had once said "she owed it to him to let him see her naked." She reportedly disregarded the comment and carried on with her writing.
Shortly after he said that, Gordon, who won an Emmy for her writing on the series, said she was fired. Deadline reports that because her firing seemed so sudden, she was badgered by reporters on the cause and never felt comfortable enough to elaborate.
"I had the Emmy, but instead of being able to use that as a launch pad for the rest of my career, it became an anchor because I felt I had to answer to speculative stories in the press," Deadline reports she told The Information. "I eventually walked away instead of fighting back."
A rep for Weiner has denied the allegation, telling The Information that "[Weiner] does not remember saying this comment nor does it reflect a comment he would say to any colleague."
These kinds of behind-the-scenes encounters are unfortunately far too common. Last month, a group of women who work in animation penned a letter denouncing sexism, harassment, and assault and sent it to major companies such as Disney, Warner Bros., and Sony. Women in comedy, too, have long been victims of unwanted sexual misconduct. Each one of these stories deserves our full attention, our anger, and our action. No one should feel threatened in a workplace, or honestly anywhere. Enough is enough.