Matthew Weiner on Sexual Misconduct Allegation: "I Don't Remember Saying That"

A former 'Mad Men' writer accused him of telling her she owed it to let him see her naked. "I really don't remember saying that," he says now. "I'm not hedging to say it’s not impossible that I said that, but I really don’t remember saying it."
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Matthew Weiner

Matthew Weiner is once again denying the sexual harassment allegation levied against him in November.

Kater Gordon, a former writer on Mad Men, alleged that while working late one night with Weiner, the show's creator, he told her that she owed it to him to let him see her naked. A year later, she was let go from the critically acclaimed drama — and hasn’t worked in the industry since.

Weiner shot down the accusation at the time and again a couple weeks later at a public event promoting his book, Heather, the Totality.

In a profile posted Sunday on Vanity Fair, part of a promotional campaign for his upcoming Amazon series The Romanoffs, Weiner said he had no recollection of saying that to Gordon.

"I really don't remember saying that," he said. "I'm not hedging to say it’s not impossible that I said that, but I really don’t remember saying it."

Pressed again on the matter days later, Weiner reiterated that sentiment: "I can't see a scenario where I would say that. What I can see is, it was 10 years ago and I don't remember saying it. When someone says you said something, like the experience we just had right now — I don’t remember saying that."

He added: "I never felt that way and I never acted that way towards Kater."

Weiner says he hasn't spoken to Gordon since she went public with her allegation, but Gordon told Vanity Fair in an email: "That was not an isolated incident, but it was the most affecting. Bullies with unchecked power create environments of fear."

Weiner also weighed in on veteran TV writer-producer and Mad Men alum Marti Noxon's decision to back Gordon’s claims on Twitter. “I believe her. I was at work with her the day after what she described transpired. I remember clearly how shaken and subdued Kater was — and continued to be from that day on," Noxon wrote at the time. "Responding to her statement, Matt claimed he would never make that kind of comment to a colleague. But anyone with an even cursory knowledge of the show Mad Men could imagine that very line coming from the mouth of Pete Campbell."

Noxon added that Weiner is "devilishly clever and witty," but wrote that he is also " an 'emotional terrorist' who will badger, seduce and even tantrum in an attempt to get his needs met."

Weiner said he was surprised by Noxon's tweets but that he reflected upon them.

"What you don’t realize . . . I think this goes with all of it,” he says. “It goes with sexist language, it goes with jokes, it goes with everything about what I believe I have examined in my own behavior — is just that you don't know that you have any power."

Weiner's book tour was upended in the wake of the accusation last fall. Roughly a third of the 11 stops were outright canceled — including events in Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles — with bookstores and other venues determining that it wouldn't be appropriate to go through with the previously scheduled events.

Meanwhile, Gordon has left the industry and went on to form Modern Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting sexual harassment.

“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,” Gordon told website The Information, which broke the news, in November. “I eventually walked away instead of fighting back.”

Bryn Elise Sandberg contributed to this report.