Tom Brokaw, an NBC news anchor, is facing sexual harassment allegations from three different women. The allegations were made public by Linda Vester, a former NBC News correspondent, along with an anonymous woman. Most recently, a third woman, Mary Reinholz, has stepped into the limelight to discuss her allegations against Brokaw. After the first two women went public with their harassment claims, Brokaw penned a lengthy email about being wrongly accused by “perps,” vehemently denying the allegations. Moreover, a collective letter from women employees at NBC was drafted and signed by 64 people around that time.
Now, the number of women who have signed the letter has swelled to over 100. That might be good news for Brokaw, who is painting a picture of himself as a man of “tremendous decency and integrity,” as the letter states. However, the alleged truth about the letter is starting to circulate. According to Fox News, not all of the women signed the letter because they wanted to.
It appears that many women felt that they had no other options, and signed the letter out of fear of retaliation, according to the report. One NBC employee allegedly spoke out, saying, “we had no choice…the unspoken threat was that if your name was not on it, there would be some repercussion down the road.” For many, that “unspoken threat” was enough for them to sign the letter, even if they did not necessarily want to do so.
“Execs are watching to see who signed and who didn’t. This was all about coming out in force to protect NBC’s golden boy; the network’s reputation is tied to Brokaw…if more women come forward, that’s a big problem.”
The letter was supposedly started by Goldman Sachs executive Liz Bowyer. It was then talked about on-air allegedly due to pressure from NBC’s Standards and Practices Department.
Some have speculated that Megyn Kelly, the highest-paid employee at NBC, has not signed the letter, because she would not feel as intimidated as other women at the network. Others believe that it’s strange for so many women to sign a letter in support of Brokaw when not all the facts have been investigated.
Jonathan Alpert, psychotherapist and author, noted that Brokaw’s victim-shaming email that he sent out in response to the allegations, coupled with a letter of support for Brokaw, can make it difficult for other women to come forward if they have their own allegations against the anchor.
For now, NBC is reportedly not planning to investigate the allegations.