I’ve just heard that 2 of my favorite local NPR hosts have been fired for creating or maintaining a work environment that was hostile or dangerous for women. I must say I never warmed up to either of them and didn’t listen as often as I once did. But both offered totally unique programs – not just in the context of public radio but unique in the country. So I tuned in fairly often despite my ear having discerned an attitude toward women I wasn’t happy about.
The point has been made that had management taken a proactive role re previous complaints, these hosts might have been forewarned, had a chance to change, and their firing could have been avoided. These men are seniors and grew up as I did in a time when it was OK to flirt on the job and common for women to receive comments about their appearance. One boss I had told me I had nice elbows and inquired if the rest of me was that smooth! I gave him a look that must have contained both terror and fury, and he never said anything like that again. He continued to say “You look very nice today,” but his tone was respectful and kind.
Am I torn? Not as much as I expected. I’m sorry about these two hosts but I can’t feel too bad since, as I said, I had detected an attitude I didn’t like. But the station management should also be punished because they are as much at fault as the men. And I will miss the unique content of both shows.