FitzGibbon Media shuttering after sexual harassment allegations

The president of prominent progressive public relations firm FitzGibbon Media said on Thursday he is shutting down the group amid multiple allegations that he sexually harassed female employees.

“It is with tremendous regret that we had to close FitzGibbon Media,” Trevor FitzGibbon said in a statement to the Huffington Post.

FitzGibbon said he did not want to be a “distraction to the mission at hand.”

“In order to do what is best for the company, I took a leave of absence,” the statement continued. “However, it is abundantly clear that an irreconcilable difference has arisen between the FitzGibbon team and me.”

A firm employee told the news outlet that FitzGibbon had been on leave since Monday.

FitzGibbon senior digital director Sean Carlson said in a tweet on Thursday the firm closed “because we would no longer follow the leadership of a serial sexual harasser.”

Carlson said in another tweet that FitzGibbon’s statement was “false” and said part of the firm’s mission was “holding people in power accountable for their actions.”

A statement released by former FitzGibbon Media staff on Thursday said more than half a dozen incidents of sexual harassment, and at least two incidents of sexual assault, had been reported by employees at the firm.

“For decades, Trevor presented himself as a champion of the progressive movement, claiming to support and respect women and feminist issues, from equal pay to reprodutive rights, but his actions prove a hypocrisy so great that FitzGibbon Media closed its doors today, as we could no longer continue working under his leadership,” the statement said.

“We are devestated to see our beloved place of work closed at the hands of such a coward and hope to continue working on the social and political issues we love and care so deeply for in the future,” it continued.

FitzGibbon Media worked with many of the most influential organizations in the progressive movement, such as NARAL, MoveOn.org, the Center for American Progress and the AFL-CIO.

MoveOn.org said in a statement it was “shocked and dismayed” by the allegations of sexual assault.

“These allegations must be taken seriously. There is no room for sexual assault or harassment in our movement, in any workplace, or anywhere,” MoveOn.org Civic Action Executive Director Anna Galland said in the statement. “Our thoughts are with the affected members of the former FitzGibbon team.”

—Updated at 8:16 p.m.


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