“The Abuse Has Become a Lot More Real”


 “The Abuse Has Become a Lot More Real”
Journalist and TV Host, Billie JD Porter Adds to The Growing List of Allegations Made Against Vice

Vice, the go-to publication for news you want to hear, documentaries on the depths of North-Korea and insights to the world of high-class prostitutes. However, despite including articles that are intended to empower women, their sex lives and their jobs, it has recently come to light that the inner circle may not be as clean as portrayed and how the Vice culture is “dangerous from the top down”. Former employee, Billie JD Porter posted this on IG earlier this year:

 billiejdporterHow dare you @vice ? The past few months have been tough. I’ve been conflicted about how openly I should speak about what I am going through, partially for legal reasons, but yesterday I was sent a photo of a promotional pin that Vice were handing out at the Women’s March in LA and NY, and I cannot remain silent about it. 
  • Yeah, women don’t forget. I haven’t forgotten being given drugs and alcohol by my boss in the office as a sixteen year old, then being asked to perform sex acts on him. I haven’t forgotten being seriously told by my producers to get drunk before filming because they thought it made me a ‘funnier’ host. I haven’t forgotten the company firing me after what they called ‘inappropriate behaviour’ at a company party where I was given a cocktail of drugs by senior management who knew I was being treated for depression. There’s a list longer than you could imagine of things I haven’t forgotten, and have made the company aware of, only to have been made to feel totally insignificant and humiliated by the supposed ‘investigation’ process. Seemingly, in the midst of widespread reports of sexual abuse and harassment, Vice still thinks its appropriate to be shamelessly promoting their brand at an event about women’s rights, and pretending to give a shit. Let me tell you, from a woman who hasn’t forgotten - they do not. ——————————————————————
    I will only be keeping this post on my feed for a very short time, because the sight of this badge actually turns my stomach. I need no further triggers causing me to relive what happened. Know this - while Vice are spending money on tone-deaf gimmicks like this and trying to improve their public image, they are neglecting to support and inform their own employees who were abused on their watch.

The journalist and TV host has started to speak out against the publication that is frequently scrutinised for its work-place culture on its attempt to give her drugs and alcohol underage and her being asked to perform sexual acts on her boss before adding “the abuse has become a lot more real”. She has since posted a blog on Medium stating her clear views on the situation and why she is not going to partake in interviews about this investigation due to a worry of legal repercussions.

However, we shouldn’t be living in a world where repercussions block us from taking action against something as serious as sexual harassment. Porter has publicly alleged the HR team at Vice for their “minimal respect and sensitivity” and for being “cold, unresponsive and inconsistent”. The lack of communication at Vice HR has also been confidentially confirmed by another former Vice employee. Another shocking event Porter recounted was that Vice allegedly mixed up her personal case with another woman’s and sent them each other’s private details.

She claims, “…far more serious incidents, including senior HR staff mixing up two completely different confidential victim testimonies in Vice’s official written records. That is to say, they included private information that another woman gave them, in a file with my name on it, then sent it to me.

She is also claiming that no compassion has been used when dealing with her case and that speaking to strangers about her case is “deeply traumatic on a number of levels”.

Vice issued a statement to Deadline, “We are confident in, and stand by, the integrity of our investigation, as well as the company’s response. We conducted the investigation, as we do all investigations, in a thorough, fair and sensitive manner, and listened to and responded to Ms. Porter throughout the process. We took timely and appropriate steps, including the dismissal of an employee.”

It is also noted that Vice suspended two senior executives – President Andrew Creighton and Chief Officer Mike Germano- following a report specifying sexual assault allegations made against them. However, it is clear that along with the issue of the sexual assault itself, the way Vice deals with the allegations seems just as much of an issue. Sexism and unwanted sexual advances appear to be an unspoken occurrence in publications and after the Weinstein incidents, more women are coming forward about being assaulted by men in power. However, the recent light that Vice has shed proves that no matter where you go, this kind of abuse and lack of support is what is still preventing women from coming forward

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