NBC Entertainment has ousted chairman Paul Telegdy following accusations that he engaged in racist, sexist, and homophobic behavior while overseeing a hostile work environment. His dismissal comes as NBCUniversal moves to enact sweeping layoffs this week, including cuts at the left-wing NBC News and the Spanish-language Telemundo.
The British-born Paul Telegdy oversaw a vast portfolio of shows at NBC, including the hit reality series America’s Got Talent, The Voice, and Ellen’s Game of Games.
Paul Telegdy, the chairman of NBC Entertainment, who has been under an internal investigation for allegations of professional misconduct, will leave the company amid broader restructuring of the television and streaming networks, the company says Thursday https://t.co/Z61aWU9nze
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 6, 2020
But his tenure as one of Hollywood’s most powerful TV executives was derailed when The Hollywood Reporter ran an investigation last week alleging inappropriate behavior.
THR said it interviewed more than 30 producers, executives, and other current and former network insiders who claimed that Telegdy, 49, presided over a toxic environment, particularly in the reality division, which he ran from 2009 until he was promoted to chairman in 2018.
The NBC insiders have alleged that Telegdy mocked gay executives, sometimes to their faces; used homophobic and misogynistic slurs; and disparaged or made sexual comments about the physical appearance of network talent.
Telegdy denied the accusations in a statement to THR: “The nature of these allegations flies in the face of everything I stand for. I hope that my actions over decades — empowering those around me, supporting artists, and creating shows with values of aspiration and inclusion at the core — speak louder than the selective words of a few.”
NBCUniversal launched an internal investigation into Telegdy following the report. Prior to working at NBC and Universal, Telegdy was an executive at the BBC from 1998 until 2008.
NBCUniversal, which is owned by Comcast, is slashing its workforce by a reported 10 percent as it seeks to adapt to the world of digital streaming entertainment. The company launched its branded streaming service Peacock last month. Left-wing NBC News is reportedly facing a 3 percent staff cut that would impact staples including NBC Nightly News and the Today show, according to the New York Post.
Spanish-language Telemundo is also undergoing layoffs, along with corporate-owned stations across the country.
Paul Telegdy is the latest high-ranking TV executive to face the heat as a result of toxic workplace allegations. ABC News executive Barbara Fedida was fired last month after an investigation confirmed allegations that she made insensitive and racist comments and managed in a hostile manner. Fedida oversaw the news division’s inclusion efforts, among other duties.
Talk-show queen Ellen DeGeneres is also facing a slew of accusations that she oversaw a toxic office culture where staffers were mistreated and in some cased sexually harassed and assaulted.