Women’s group says 'good riddance' to Chris Cuomo after CNN firing: 'Perpetuating rape culture'

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CNN officially terminates Chris Cuomo | Breaking

CNN issued a statement on termination of Chris Cuomo after conducting review of anchor aiding brother’s defense

UltraViolet, described as a national gender justice organization, ripped now former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo for his ethically questionable conduct that had been exposed little by little throughout the past year.

CNN fired Cuomo on Saturday a few days after announcing an “indefinite suspension” following the release of transcripts from New York state attorney general Letitia James that revealed the extent to which he helped his brother, ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, handle the string of sexual harassment allegations against him. Cuomo had used his media influence to dig up dirt on his brother’s accusers, the documents found. 

“Good riddance,” UltraViolet communications director Bridget Todd said in a statement. “Chris Cuomo used his position at CNN to orchestrate attacks on the brave survivors who came forward to share how they had suffered sexual harassment and abuse at the hands of his brother, former Governor Andrew Cuomo.” 

“This is a severe breach of journalistic and professional ethics – and a clearly fireable offense,” the group continued. “CNN made the right decision to sever ties with Chris Cuomo. Make no mistake – when people in position of power use that power to influence coverage of, and help cover up sexual abuse – they are perpetuating rape culture. It doesn’t matter if it is your brother, your friend, or your political allies – all survivors deserve to have their stories heard, investigated, and taken seriously.”

UltraViolet, a leading national gender-justice organization, called for CNN to immediately fire Chris Cuomo. 

James’s office concluded in August that Gov. Cuomo had harassed 11 women from 2013 to 2020. The findings quickly resulted in Cuomo resigning in disgrace. Lindsay Boylan, the first woman to publicly accuse the governor of misconduct, similarly took CNN’s Cuomo to task after he fielded his own sexual harassment scandal in September. Veteran TV producer Shelley Ross claimed Cuomo squeezed her buttock at an event in 2005 when the two of them worked at ABC News. 

“@Chris Cuomo will you hold yourself accountable?” Boylan tweeted at the time.

Last week she fueled some of her ire at the anchor’s colleagues for being complicit in Cuomo’s “abuses of power.”

Sexual assault survivors and activists from UltraViolet, a leading national women’s organization, organized a rally and press conference on October 23, 2019 outside of NBC News Headquarters in New York City and deliver more than 18,500 signatures on petitions calling on the network to take immediate action to address abuses of power at the network. (Photo by Erik McGregor)

Critics have often noted how CNN did not discipline Cuomo following the initial reports he had acted as an unofficial adviser to his brother. It wasn’t until mulling over last week’s revelatory transcripts the network finally cut ties with him. UltraViolet had previously called for CNN to be investigated for its coverage of the ex-New York governor.

“Chris Cuomo was suspended earlier this week pending further evaluation of new information that came to light about his involvement with his brother’s defense,” CNN said in a statement Saturday. “We retained a respected law firm to conduct the review, and have terminated him, effective immediately.”

“While in the process of that review, additional information has come to light. Despite the termination, we will investigate as appropriate,” the statement added.

CNN has said it would review the newly-released testimony. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for WarnerMedia)
(Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for WarnerMedia)

“This is not how I want my time at CNN to end but I have already told you why and how I helped my brother,” Cuomo said in response.

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