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Disney’s investigation into allegations of sexual assault against former Good Morning America producer Michael Corn was launched after a TV writer spoke with one of Corn’s accusers while doing research for The Morning Show.
According to a Wall Street Journal report published Monday, in the fall of 2017, Jay Carson — a writer for the Apple TV+ series — was in the midst of research to help develop the drama about a scandal at a morning newscast when he spoke to ABC News producer Kirstyn Crawford. Carson was trying to get a sense of the prevalence of sexual harassment in the TV news business, an issue that’s at the heart of the Emmy-winning series, when Crawford alleged that she was sexually assaulted two years prior by her boss, then a senior executive producer for the ABC morning show.
The report states that Carson took that allegation to friend and Good Morning America anchor George Stephanopoulos, who then reportedly informed “key company executives.”
In August 2021, Crawford filed a lawsuit against Corn and ABC, which also named parent company Disney as a defendant, alleging the longtime executive sexually assaulted her in 2015 in an Uber while the two were covering the Oscars. The suit also claims Corn created a toxic work environment and that both ABC and Walt Disney Co. failed to investigate her allegations against Corn when they were first brought to the company’s attention in 2017.
A Disney spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal on Sunday that ABC News “disputes the claims made against it and will address the matter in court.” The Hollywood Reporter has also reached out to ABC for comment.
In April 2021, it was announced that Corn was departing the network, with a spokesperson confirming to THR that he “no longer works for ABC News.” The former ABC News veteran had previously served as executive producer of ABC World News before joining the morning show team. Corn was named president of Nexstar’s NewsNation in May before the lawsuit was filed in August. Corn has denied the allegations against him.
A week after the lawsuit was filed, Simone Swink was named as Corn’s replacement.
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