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The comments section of CNA’s report about sexism in Mediacorp is a horrible minefield of bigotry

Coconuts logo Coconuts 12/10/2017

Though the modern newsroom is way past the outward sexism inherent in the ‘70s (that’s so accurately portrayed in non-fictional documentary Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy), chauvinism is still very much alive and well.

Case in point: former Channel NewsAsia producer Juwon Park, who recounted on Facebook last week a colleague who made sexist remarks about her. Said colleague reportedly told Park that (a) she could not be a presenter because she lacked a bosom, and that (b) she should act dumb and not be “too smart for [her] own good”.

As evidence, Park posted screenshots of her confrontation with the colleague.

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A follow-up post included more alleged instances of sexism, harassment, and a general environment of hostility towards her concerns. Judging by her story, it seems like Mediacorp may not be a pleasant place to work at — if you’re a woman that is.

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Disciplinary action

Her post went viral, and Mediacorp obviously had to take action quickly. Thorough investigations were conducted, and it was concluded that Park’s allegations were indeed true. Disciplinary action was taken against the staff member who made the remarks — the individual was revealed to be a current affairs cameraman, reported Channel NewsAsia.

Even worse, others have stepped forward with allegations of inappropriate conduct by the cameraman, as well as by two other freelancers who work with him.

“We embrace the diversity of our workforce and will fight any form of discrimination or harassment that threatens our core values,” said a Mediacorp spokesman in a statement. “Our code of business conduct and ethics states that we do not condone any form of harassment and that employees who know of or witness inappropriate behaviours should report them.”

Aftermath

Even before she stepped forward to speak about sexism in her workplace, Park had already tendered her resignation — meaning she had nothing else to lose. Nonetheless, the incident definitely changed the vibes in the office for her. Some colleagues started gossiping about her, although others (thankfully) stood by her side.

But if we were Park, we’d definitely not look at the comments section on Channel NewsAsia’s Facebook post that included the article on the incident. It’s terribly toxic, to say the least.

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Some things just never change.

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The Mediacorp campus at One-North. Photo: Mediacorp / Facebook © Provided by Coconuts Media Limited Mediacorp

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