Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner is strongly denying the sexual harassment accusation being brought against him by a former writer on his series.
“The allegations are not true, and [this] is a very important topic and a topic that I have devoted — it has been an obsession of mine, in my work and in my life, for like 92 hours of the show; we wanted people to be having this conversation,” he said during an event to promote his new novel Heather, The Totality at Los Angeles’ Chevalier’s Books. “It’s great that we’re having it. It’s a very serious issue.”
Last week, Kater Gordon, who started as Weiner’s personal assistant on Mad Men before eventually being promoted to staff writer, told The Information that during a late night of working together, Weiner told her that she owed it to him to let him see her naked.
When pressed by Orange Is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan, who was moderating the event, on why Gordon would make such a claim if it wasn’t true, Weiner said he didn’t “want to speak to someone else’s character.”
“I will say this, that I have hired dozens of women over the years and dozens of people and I am a demanding boss and, I am…especially in the early years it was hard to do it,” he responded. “I had a lot of stress — and you know this — it’s very lonely and I got better at it for sure. When I think back on it, if I had to do it, to letting people go and being mad about having to re-write everything, you’re just angry a lot of the time, but you want the show to be great, and it’s kind of what you do.”
Weiner concluded, “So I guess if I had to do it over again, I would do it differently. The person I am now would definitely do it differently. But I also just want to thank the people who I worked with over the years for all their support because they know how important this is to me and they know the kind of person that I am.”
Former Mad Men writer and consulting producer Marti Noxon stood by Gordon’s claims on Friday, calling their former boss an “emotional terrorist” who spread “fear and uncertainty” among his staff. “I believe her,” Noxon tweeted. “I was at work with her the day after what she described transpired. I remember clearly how shaken and subdued Kater was — and continued to be from that day on.”