NBC News contributor Ronan Farrow on Tuesday said that the network had declined to run a “reportable” story on multiple accusations of sexual assault and harassment made against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
Farrow ultimately published the story, in which two women went on the record accusing Weinstein of rape and many others accused him of various wrongdoings, in the New Yorker. The New York Times has also published a series of exposés of Weinstein’s behavior.
“You just said that one of these women spoke on camera back in January,” MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said in an interview with Farrow Tuesday. Farrow had mentioned an actress who had made a “serious allegation” against Weinstein on-camera but subsequently took back her willingness to be named for fear of legal retribution from Weinstein.
“Why did you end up reporting this story for the New Yorker and not for NBC News?” Maddow asked.
“You would have to ask NBC and NBC executives about the details of that story,” Farrow replied. “I’m not going to comment on any news organization’s story that they did or didn’t run.”
Farrow noted that many news organizations had considered running stories on Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment and assault over the years, but were threatened with lawsuits and other forms of pressure. Farrow described receiving legal threats from Weinstein himself.
“I don’t want to describe any suits leveled at other organizations that I work with, but, you know, certainly this is a considerable amount of pressure that outlets get as well,” he added.
“NBC says that the story wasn’t publishable,” Maddow continued. “That it wasn’t ready to go by the time that you brought it to them, but obviously it was ready to go by the time you got it into the New Yorker.”
“I walked into the door at the New Yorker with an explosively reportable piece that should have been public earlier and immediately, obviously, the New Yorker recognized that, and it is not accurate to say that it was not reportable,” Farrow said. “In fact, there were multiple determinations that it was reportable at NBC.”
A spokesperson for NBC Universal did not respond to TPM’s request for comment on Farrow’s accusation.
Watch below via MSNBC. The exchange regarding NBC begins at 3:43: