Former intern accuses CBS's '60 Minutes' head Jeff Fager of groping her at office party
A former CBS intern has alleged that '60 Minutes' executive producer Jeff Fager groped her at a work party in a Manhattan bar
The head of CBS’s '60 Minutes,' Jeff Fager, has reportedly been accused by another woman of sexual misconduct by groping her at a party. “I really felt like this was one of the most sexist places I’ve ever worked,” Sarah Johansen, a former CBS intern in the 2000s, told The New Yorker magazine.
A few weeks ago, the New Yorker published an explosive story from Ronan Farrow in which six-woman accused CBS Corp. chairman and CEO Les Moonves of sexual harassment and intimidation going back several decades, and 19 current and former staffers said that '60 Minutes' executive producer Jeff Fager enabled harassment at CBS News.
The woman, Sarah Johansen, who hails from Denmark, claimed she was standing next to producer at a work party in a Manhattan bar when “all of a sudden, I felt a hand on my ass. I was shocked.” Johansen is the seventh former employee to accuse Fager and the 19th staff member to complain that he looked the other way at sexual harassment within his division.
Farrow writes: "Johansen said that she had contact with Fager on only two occasions. The first, she said, was at a work party at a bar near the CBS News offices in Manhattan. She was in a group of co-workers when, 'all of a sudden, I felt a hand on my ass,' she said. The hand belonged to an arm which belonged to Jeff Fager. Another producer told her it was colloquially referred to by women on the team as “the Fager arm,” which several said they were mindful to avoid at parties.
"'I was shocked,' Johansen said. 'His hand should not be anywhere near his intern’s ass'. She said the contact was 'more like a stroke. It wasn’t just a "Hey, what’s up?" She didn’t think Fager was propositioning her, and interpreted the move as 'a power trip'. She told me, 'When he grabbed my ass, it was just, like, "Welcome to '60 Minutes'. You’re one of us now.’”
"She recalled making eye contact with Fager, laughing and walking away quickly. But she was troubled enough by the incident that, shortly afterward, she told a male producer, who corroborated her story. On the one other occasion when Johansen interacted with Fager directly, she and a fellow-intern invited him to lunch. She was excited that he accepted. 'What does that say about me that he does that and then I still say, Oh, I want to have lunch with the big boss?' she asked. 'I hate myself for that. But I just wanted to be a producer.' Fager declined to comment on the allegation."
In The New Yorker story, several employees likened the atmosphere at the long-running TV news magazine as that of a “frat house.” Producer Habiba Nosheem said the culture reminded her of the 1950s and 1960s misogyny depicted on TV’s 'Mad Men'.
“Until the networks change the power structure at the top, I won’t feel safe speaking out,” a producer told the magazine.
Fager, who has retained his position while the network conducts an independent investigation, couldn’t be reached by any publication and, but in the past has denied the allegations.