Image via the AP.
In a podcast in October, comedian Heather McDonald spoke out about sexual harassment that she and other female employees were enduring from her former boss, University of California Regent Norman J. Pattiz, 73, who was reappointed for a second 12-year term, in 2014.
Pattiz, who is the chairman of Courtside Entertainment Group, oversees PodcastOne, the network that produced McDonald’s podcast, Juicy Scoop, up until August when McDonald moved her show to Wondery.
In her October 26 episode, McDonald announced that she had left PodcastOne to get away from Pattiz. The final straw was caught on audio (which she played on-air), as Pattiz interrupted her advertisement recording session with a joke about holding her breasts.
Via SF Gate:
In the recording, listeners can hear Pattiz knocking on the studio door, calling out that her show is becoming more popular. McDonald is heard asking Pattiz to let her finish the ad. As she begins touting the product, a brassiere made of memory foam, she gets flustered and stumbles on the words.
“You’re making me nervous now,” she tells Pattiz. “Let me do one more.”
Pattiz says: “Wait a minute. Can I hold your breasts?”
“No,” McDonald says.
“Would that help?” Pattiz says, adding that his hands “are memory foam.”
After that, McDonald said, she quit.
“Sexual harassment is not a joke,” McDonald told listeners, also stating that she was inspired to come forward by the women at Fox News who’ve made sexual harassment accusations against Roger Ailes.
Other female employees of Pattiz have come forward with their own accusations of sexual harassment. “One woman, 23-year-old Ji Min Park, said she left the company in August after a year in large part because of too many sexually inappropriate comments,” reports the L.A. Times.
Pattiz has since released a statement, telling the Times:
…he “deeply regrets” the comments to McDonald and vowed not to repeat such behavior.
“There is no excuse for any such comments or making anyone feel uncomfortable,” he said Tuesday. “If I did that, I sincerely apologize, and it will be a valuable learning experience.”
“I can assure you that you can teach an old dog new tricks,” he said, committing to work to bridge any generation gap.
In the Non-Apology Olympics, Pattiz will definitely be placing in the top three. Congratulations to him.
A rep for UC has yet to comment.