Democratic Presidential Candidates Want Comcast to Conduct NBC Investigation

Andy Lack - Getty - H 2019

The 2020 campaigns of Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker are asking the Democratic National Committee to put pressure on MSNBC's parent company to probe misconduct.

Just a day before MSNBC is scheduled to co-host the fifth Democratic presidential debate of the 2020 cycle, a group of leading candidates is pressing the Democratic National Committee to act on allegations that NBC has suppressed accusations of sexual misconduct by former employees.

"We, the undersigned candidates, are very concerned about the message it would send to sexual assault survivors if our next debate is sponsored by MSNBC without clear commitments from Comcast, the parent company of NBC and MSNBC, to conduct an independent investigation into the toxic culture that enabled abusers and silenced survivors," Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker said in the letter, which was sent to DNC chairman Tom Perez on Tuesday.

"The troubling reports about management’s role to cover up abuse demonstrate that Comcast should have and needs to do more to shift the work culture and pursue significant structural changes in order to prevent future harassment and abuse at NBC and MSNBC," the candidates wrote. "Until that happens, employees are at risk."

In pressing Comcast to take further action, the candidates are joining former NBC employees like Megyn Kelly and Linda Vester in asking the parent company to conduct an outside investigation into what took place during the tenure of former Today show host Matt Lauer.

But, as the company told The Hollywood Reporter on Oct. 17, it does not plan to conduct another investigation. "There is no additional investigation being launched," an NBCUniversal spokesperson said at the time. "We are very confident in the report that was conducted."

The senators are asking Comcast, by way of the DNC, to go beyond the in-house investigation the company conducted. "It is critical that the Democratic National Committee make clear that they support survivors of sexual harassment and abuse by ensuring that Comcast and NBC News take steps to clean up the toxic culture that exists across their networks," the candidates wrote.

The letter, which was first reported by HuffPost, was coordinated by the advocacy group UltraViolet.

The NBCUniversal spokesperson has not yet commented on the letter.