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Vice Media has suspended Jason Mojica, head of its documentary film unit, as part of an investigation into sexual harassment allegations from a former employee, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.
Mojica, who has served in various roles at Vice since 2011, was named in a Daily Beast report published Wednesday that painted a picture of a toxic work environment for women within Vice.
A former producer in the company’s L.A. office, Phoebe Barghouty, accused former L.A. bureau chief Kaj Larsen and Mojica, who at the time served as editor-in-chief at Vice, of sexual harassment. Larsen is no longer with the company.
Vice responded to the report by saying that it would open an investigation into the allegations. “We do not tolerate harassment, abusive behavior, assault or retaliation and we will discipline anyone who engages in such conduct through a range of actions, including termination, as appropriate,” a company spokesman said in a statement on Wednesday. “We have immediately begun an investigation into this matter.”
In the article, Barghouty says that Mojica asked her how flexible she was after ensuring that she had signed the company’s “nontraditional workplace agreement,” in which employees agree that they will not be offended by exposure to sexually provocative or explicit media. She also said that she told Mojica about Larsen’s behavior, including inappropriate touching, and that he was flippant in his response.
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