How ‘The Morning Show’ Uncovered a Real-Life Harassment Scandal at a Morning Show

Disney started an inquiry into sexual assault accusations against former Good Morning America producer Michael Corn after a TV writer interacted with one of Corn’s victims while doing research for The Morning Show.

In the autumn of 2017, Jay Carson, an Apple TV+ series writer, was conducting research to help build the drama about a morning newscast incident when he talked with ABC News producer Kirstyn Crawford.

Carson was trying to get a sense of the frequency of sexual harassment in the TV news industry, a topic at the center of the Emmy-winning series, when Crawford said that her boss, then a senior executive producer for the ABC morning program, had sexually attacked her two years before.

According to the story, Carson brought the claim to a buddy and Good Morning America anchor George Stephanopoulos, who reportedly told “important corporate leaders.”

Crawford filed a complaint against Corn and ABC in August 2021, also including parent firm Disney as a defendant, saying that the longtime executive sexually attacked her in an Uber in 2015 while the two were covering the Oscars. 

The suit also says Corn created a hostile work environment and that ABC and Walt Disney Co. refused to investigate her concerns against Corn when they were initially brought to their notice in 2017.

Corn left the network in April 2021, with a spokesman announcing that he “no longer works for ABC News.” The former ABC news veteran had previously worked as executive producer of ABC World News before joining the morning program crew. Corn was designated president of Nexstar’s NewsNation in May, prior to the lawsuit’s filing in August. Corn has disputed the accusations leveled against him.

Simone Swinke was selected as Corn’s replacement a week after the lawsuit was filed.

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