business news in context, analysis with attitude

Variety is reporting that Roy Price, president of Amazon Studios, has been suspended immediately and indefinitely after he was accused of sexual harassment by Isa Hackett, an executive producer on Amazon’s original series “The Man in the High Castle.”

The original allegations about events that took place some two years ago were made public last August, but have gained new attention and currency in the wake of the sexual harassment scandal that has engulfed producer Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of multiple incidents of harassment and assault, prompting his firing by the company he co-founded and an investigation into his behavior by the New York Police Department.

Price has not commented on the charges. Weinstein has simultaneously concede that he has behaved badly, denied he raped anyone, and has threatened to sue the New York Times, which broke the story of the allegations and payoffs he made to actresses to insure they would remain quiet.

Amazon has said in the last week that it is re-evaluating production deals that it has with the Weinstein company for two new TV series.

The Variety story notes that one of Weinstein’s accusers, actress Rose McGowan, has tweeted that “a top-level Amazon Studios executive had rejected her claims that Weinstein had raped her.”

And, Variety writes: “The Amazon Studios president’s departure comes amid renewed sexual harassment allegations and multiple signs that Amazon and others in the industry had withdrawn their support from the embattled executive. Insiders have speculated for months about Price’s possible departure from his role as head of Amazon’s original-video arm. Multiple agents and producers who spoke to Variety in recent weeks speculated that such a departure may come soon.”
KC's View:
If Price is even remotely guilty of treating this woman - or any woman with whom he worked - in a manner less than respectful and professional, he ought to be gone. No excuses, no explanations. Gone.

It would be my guess that Jeff Bezos is unlikely to let this decision play out for too long. This isn’t just about Roy Price and Isa Hackett; Bezos also has to make sure that every woman who works for Amazon, and maybe every woman who shops at Amazon, is satisfied with his response to this situation.

It seems to me that we’re seeing a bit of a sea change in how these issues are being treated in America’s corporate suites, and that’s a good thing. There ought to be no tolerance of any sort of sexual harassment in this country, and I think that there is some long overdue consciousness raising going on.