The former top producer for Good Morning America has been accused of sexual assault in a lawsuit brought by an ABC News staffer, which also faults the network for allegedly looking "the other way."
Good Morning America producer Kirstyn Crawford filed a lawsuit against Michael Corn, the show's former senior executive producer, alleging he assaulted her on a work trip in 2015, The Wall Street Journal reports. ABC is named as a defendant, as it allegedly "received complaints about Mr. Corn's conduct from several women, going back roughly a decade, but failed to take disciplinary action," the Journal writes. The lawsuit also accuses Corn of sexually assaulting former ABC News producer Jill McClain while they were working at World News Tonight, another ABC show.
The suit reportedly alleges that ABC officials learned of Crawford's allegations in 2017 but didn't launch an investigation into it until after formal complaints were filed in February 2021 by Crawford and McClain, even though Disney's policies call for an investigation to be launched after executives become aware of such an incident.
"ABC looked the other way, elevated Corn through the ranks ... and facilitated the hostile workplace that Corn cultivated through his influence over subordinates' careers, sexual harassment, gaslighting, and anger management issues," the lawsuit alleges, per Deadline.
Heather Riley, who was then a GMA publicist, allegedly told Crawford that reporting the assault might get "messy." An ABC spokesperson told the Journal that "we are committed to upholding a safe and supportive work environment and have a process in place that thoroughly reviews and addresses complaints" and that it "disputes the claims made against it and will address this matter in court." Corn also denied the allegations against him and said he will "vigorously" defend himself.