Another week, another highbrow publisher brought low by sex harassment claims. This week’s entrant is Hamilton Fish V, the publisher of The New Republic. He is taking a temporary leave of absence as the publication investigates sexual harassment claims brought against Fish by multiple current and former female employees of the liberal magazine.
Fish was asked to take a leave of absence by The New Republic’s owner, Win McCormack, who told staff on Sunday that the company would allow an independent probe of the allegations against him.
A number of female colleagues have complained of “workplace interactions that have created an uncomfortable environment for them” involving Fish, McCormack disclosed in the memo to staff. For now, Fish’s responsibilities will be handled by The New Republic’s editor, J.J. Gould, and associate publisher, Art Stupar.
The accusations against Fish, who joined magazine in 2016 and is also the editor and publisher of the Washington Spectator, come as the magazine struggles to find its footing after several tumultuous years.
It is also the latest in a series of sexual harassment allegations involving high-tone literary magazines and magazine personalities, all ostensibly have impeccable feminist credentials (one involving another New Republic grandee).
Last week, Knight Landesman resigned from his position as co-publisher of Artforum magazine after accusations of of sexual harassment, intimidation and other abuses in a civil lawsuit brought by a former employee, Amanda Schmitt. The lawsuit claims to have corroborating testimony from seven other Artforum female employees, who are not plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
Subsequently, an open letter published online, and signed by over 1,800 women in the art community, protested that Landesman’s misbehavior was “a longtime open secret in the industry.”
Also last week, Leon Wieseltier, the formidable former literary editor of The New Republic, recently found support for his new magazine Idea pulled by Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective, after a number of women, including former New Republic colleagues, came forward with claims of unwanted sexual contact and advances over the years.
Finally, Vox Media dismissed editorial director Lockhart Steele over allegations of sexual misconduct, which Steele admitted were true, according to Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff. The allegations surfaced in an anonymous blog post on Medium accusing an unnamed Vox vice-president of harassment.
Many of these men (and scores of others) were identified in an anonymous XL spreadsheet circulated online — “Shitty Media Men,” naming men known for mistreating women.