New York City magazine The Fader has suspended its president and publisher Andy Cohn amid allegations of misconduct. As reported by Jezebel, Cohn is being accused not only of misconduct but also of the harvesting of a “culture of harassment” within the publication. The allegations are enforced by the recent firing of Eric Sundermann, the head of content at the magazine, who himself has several allegations against him that Cohn allegedly knew of and chose to ignore. Jezebel writes that according to 11 of Sundermann’s former co-workers, he allegedly repeatedly groped them at both bars and parties and would allegedly blacklist any journalist that refused his advances.
As former employees and current colleagues continue to come forward with allegations, The Fader took action and suspended the president indefinitely pending an investigation into the accusations. Cohn, who joined the magazine in 2003, has been an integral part of the publication’s transition into digital, and his suspension does not come lightly. The Jezebel report alleges that Cohn was involved in more than one instance of misconduct involving employees and that his actions had made a negative impression on co-workers.
Pitchfork reports that The Fader has already launched an independent investigation into the matters and that all actions, should they be deemed necessary, will be taken swiftly. The 1999-born magazine has been a staple within the music journalism community through its highs and lows and the scandal is sending ripples throughout. For their part, The Fader stands by their values and promises that questions will be answered; their statement can be read below.
“We founded The FADER with the goal of creating a magazine and community that is an inclusive space that fosters discovery and connection – a place where our employees and community felt open, safe, and free to project their pure creative abilities onto the world. It is clear that we have failed to do that and failed to live up to our standards.
Today we have retained outside counsel to launch an independent investigation into our company’s workplace policies and systems — not just to find out where we went wrong, but how we can improve our culture moving forward.
Additionally, we have suspended President and Publisher Andy Cohn.
Our employees are the foundation of our culture. We hope to empower them through this process to help us improve our workplace support systems, policies and culture. We are putting immediate steps in place to encourage more feedback and an open dialogue.
We apologize to those who we have let down. The FADER will continue to strive to make its community, and its workplace, a place where everyone can feel safe and respected so that their creative energies and talents can shine. We pledge that these changes will make The FADER stronger in the years ahead.”