ABC TV show accused of having sex with teen in hotel
ABC News has been accused of a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy who was the guest of the network’s newsreader on its hit news program Watamote.
Watamote has been described as the most popular newsreader in the world, having been voted in as the world’s most popular television show by The Wall Street Journal.
The 16-time Emmy winner and a host of other celebrities have been accused by two teenagers of having sexual relationships with one another in the hotel room where the alleged incident occurred.
A 16-person investigation into the alleged relationship by the Los Angeles-based media watchdog group the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) was launched last week.
“A young man is a young man,” CIR executive director Anthony C. Ferrante told ABC News in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.
“He is a very talented young man who has been in our newsroom for a long time.
He is a good man.”
Ferrante said Watamotep had a reputation for being a “truly innovative newsroom” that had “developed a reputation of doing great things.”
“The allegations of sexual misconduct are serious and have the potential to damage our newsrooms reputation,” Ferranti said.
“Watampop’s reputation is at stake.”
Watams allegations have been described by CIR as “an alarming pattern” in which the network had a “zero tolerance” policy for sexual harassment and bullying, which has prompted the resignation of its head of news, Matt Sperling.
CIR, which began its investigation last week, said Watams staff had been told to refrain from discussing the alleged incidents with anyone except the victim.
“There’s a whole series of steps that they have to take,” CID Executive Director Adam Levitin said.
“The newsroom needs to step up and do something about the culture and expectations that are set.”CIR said Watampop has been contacted by more than 150 people, who include former colleagues, friends and former employees.
The alleged incident took place last March at the Resorts World Hotel in Los Angeles, where the teen was staying as a guest.
According to Watamotes Facebook page, the teen said he and his girlfriend had been dating for a year and had a relationship going on for several months.
“He asked me to come to his room,” the teen wrote.
“I said no, and he said he wanted to fuck me and he wanted a relationship.”
Wamote was created by ABC TV and ABC Studios, which is owned by 21st Century Fox.
ABC TV did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.ABC News has reported on allegations of a rape by a male executive of a female writer at the network.
In that case, ABC News reported the alleged victim was fired and then sued by the woman, who claimed the network did not have her fired.ABCNews.com first reported that the teen accused of the alleged sexual relationship was the Watamode host, and the network has denied the accusations.CIR’s investigation into Watamots claims has taken a lot of time and has been conducted by a team of investigators who include attorneys, social workers, law enforcement, prosecutors, psychologists, and a private investigator.