Matthew Weiner, creator of the hit AMC series Mad Men, has become the latest powerful Hollywood figure to be accused of sexual harassment. Kater Gordon, who won an Emmy for co-writing the Mad Men Season 2 finale "Meditations in an Emergency" with Matthew Weiner, has accused her former boss of sexually harassing her while they were spending late nights writing that very episode. During these writing sessions for that episode, Matthew Weiner reportedly told Kater Gordon that she owed it to him to at least let him see her naked. Here's what a rep for Matthew Weiner had to say in a statement about these accusations.
"Mr. Weiner spent eight to ten hours a day writing dialogue aloud with Miss Gordon, who started on Mad Men as his writers assistant. He does not remember saying this comment nor does it reflect a comment he would say to any colleague."
Kater Gordon started her Hollywood career as a production assistant on shows like Third Watch and movies such as Munich, Little Children, Just My Luck and Infamous. She became an assistant to director Kevin Lima on the movie Enchanted before being hired as a writer's assistant on Mad Men during the second season, which culminated in her co-writing the Season 2 finale, "Meditations in an Emergency," with series creator Matthew Weiner, when she was just 27 years of age. When he asked to see her naked, she brushed off the sexual misconduct and they continued to write the episode.
After winning the Emmy, she was promoted to staff writer for the third season, writing the fifth episode that season entitled "The Fog." But after that season, just a year after winning the Emmy, she was inexplicably fired from the show, which raised several questions in the press, although the show was still known for a high turnover among the writing staff. Kater Gordon hasn't worked in movies or TV since, and currently resides in San Francisco, where she is launching a non-profit company called Modern Alliance, which is aimed at changing perceptions around sexual harassment. Here's what she had to say about the sexual harassment incident, and why she walked away from the industry as a whole because of it.
"I knew immediately when he crossed the boundary that it was wrong. But I didn't know then what my options were. Having a script or some sentences cued up as an arsenal, like a self-defense harassment arsenal, I could have used that in that moment, and it would have saved me years of regret that I didn't handle that situation differently. I had the Emmy, but instead of being able to use that as a launch pad for the rest of my career, it became an anchor because I felt I had to answer to speculative stories in the press. I eventually walked away instead of fighting back."
Mad Men was the first hit series for AMC, winning Best Drama Series for its first four years in a row, before ending its seven-season run in 2014. Matthew Weiner is currently in production on The Romanoffs for Amazon Studios, which is going through its own sexual harassment trials and tribulations. Top Amazon Studios executive Roy Price was forced to resign after sexual harassment allegations came to light from The Man in the High Castle executive producer Isa Dick Hackett. We also reported earlier this week that Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor is under investigation by the streaming service after a former assistant claims he sexually harassed her. You can read the full report on Kater Gordon and Mad Med creator Matthew Weiner at The Information.