The New Republic’s president and publisher resigned Friday after allegations of misconduct involving female staffer were leveled against him earlier this week. From HuffPost:
Win McCormack, the owner of The New Republic, made the announcement in a memo to staff, noting that the investigation into Fish’s conduct would continue.
“This won’t mean an end to the inquiry we’ve commissioned, as we want to understand everyone’s experiences in full, both on their own terms and for the purposes of looking ahead,” McCormack wrote. “If you happen not yet to receive the investigator’s contact details, with our invitation to connect with her, you should expect to today.”
HuffPost suggests the behavior cited by women staffers involved unwanted touching in the workplace:
TNR staffers were wary around Fish from the start of his tenure, several current and former staffers told HuffPost. Several staffers observed that he kept a lower profile at TNR ― but they say some worrisome behavior surfaced while he was at the magazine.
Fish would approach women from behind and put his hands on their shoulders, sometimes massaging them, according to two people who worked with him at TNR. One staffer said she felt that Fish “disrespected and looked down upon” her when she brought up problems with him.
Apparently, this neck grabbing thing has been going on for a while. A previous HuffPost story recounts an incident 10 years ago when Fish worked for the Nation Institute:
Fish came in to work, and Taya Kitman, a high-ranking staffer at the time, and two other employees were in the conference room waiting for him. They needed to prepare the 400-person seating chart for the organization’s annual gala. Kitman wanted to get it done and pressed Fish to help her. Fish seemed annoyed by her request.
Fish, who is well over 6 feet tall, approached Kitman from behind, put his hands around her neck and applied pressure, according to four people with knowledge of the incident.
One person said Fish meant it as a joke, but took it too far. He left red marks on Kitman’s neck, the four sources said. Shaken by the encounter, Kitman tried to downplay it.
In a letter announcing his resignation obtained by the NY Times, Fish wrote, “As I understand it, some employees, to my deep dismay, complained this week that my presence had led them to feel uncomfortable at the New Republic.” He continued, “Women have longstanding and profound concerns with respect to their treatment in the workplace. Many men have a lot to learn in this regard. I know I do, and I hope for and encourage that new direction.”
Fish was placed on a leave of absence Sunday. Owner Win McCormack wrote a memo announcing the leave which said, “I have been made aware that a number of employees have come forward in the last few days to express concern about certain workplace interactions that have created an uncomfortable environment for them.” “As I understand them, these concerns relate specifically to interactions between Ham Fish and a number of women employees,” McCormack stated.
Here’s the full resignation letter:
And here is Hamilton Fish's letter to Win McCormack tendering his resignation pic.twitter.com/yVbcW5Grtz
— Sydney Ember (@melbournecoal) November 3, 2017