Mediacorp takes disciplinary action against employee who made 'inappropriate remarks'

Miss Park Juwon alleged that a male colleague referred to a part of her body as the reason that she could not be a presenter. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - Local broadcaster Mediacorp is investigating allegations of "inappropriate conduct" by a staff member and two freelancers who work in the same unit as him.

This is after one of Channel NewsAsia's producers, Miss Park Juwon, made online posts last week alleging that a male colleague referred to a part of her body as the reason that she could not be a presenter.

In response to queries by The New Paper, a Mediacorp spokesman said: "We have concluded that the allegations are valid and have taken the necessary disciplinary action against the staff who had made the inappropriate remarks."

TNP understands that after Miss Park's posts, other producers in Mediacorp have come forward to its management to share similar experiences like Miss Park.

"Further to Juwon's complaints, other colleagues have since brought forth allegations of inappropriate conduct by the staff in question and by two freelancers who work in the same unit as him," said the spokesman.

"We are investigating the allegations against the freelancers and will not hesitate to take appropriate action."

Last Saturday, TNP reported that Miss Park had uploaded on her Facebook page screenshots of their WhatsApp exchanges in which she confronted a colleague who had alleged said that "girls shouldn't be too smart for their own good" and that she should "act dumb".

After noting his alleged comments to her, she wrote: "I think most people would find your words very sexist, belittling and distasteful.

"You can say they are jokes. But it is really an insult to all the hard work I've put in to get here."

The colleague replied that his comments were "meant as a joke" and that "it's how the industry works".

He apologised twice, and added: "It was just industry talk on my side. I was not intentionally being rude or sexist."

In a later post, she said the incident was not a one-off, and when she shared her concerns with her male and female co-workers, she was told that she needed to "get used to this".

TNP understands that Miss Park, who had already been serving notice last week, has been released from her two-month notice period and that she has given back her media pass and work pass to Mediacorp.

Said the Mediacorp spokesman: "We embrace the diversity of our workforce and will fight any form of discrimination or harassment that threatens our core values.

"Our code of business conduct and ethics states that we do not condone any form of harassment and that employees who know of or witness inappropriate behaviours should report them. All employees of Mediacorp sign a renewed commitment to this code every year."

In a Facebook post on Tuesday (Oct 10) night, Miss Park thanked those who supported her during "the most difficult week in my life" and said she was leaving Singapore soon.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.