In an exclusive story published on Tuesday, Cartoon Brew reported that Chris Savino had been suspended from Nickelodeon last week due to an internal human resources investigation. Cartoon Brew had learned that the 46-year-old industry veteran had been accused by a dozen women employees at Nickelodeon of inappropriate behavior and harassment.
Following the publication of our story, others who had previously worked with Savino, including Bojack Horseman director Anne Walker Farrell, spoke out about earlier incidents of harassment that they had experienced from Savino.
Over 200 women in the animation industry published an open letter today demanding an end to sexual harassment in animation studios. The idea for the letter was hatched last week and was partly a response to the Savino situation, which had not been publicly disclosed at the time.
The Hollywood Reporter has reported that Nickelodeon Group president Cyma Zarghami also issued a staff memo today following Savino’s dismissal that reaffirmed the network’s “non-negotiable” commitment to “a safe and professional workplace environment.”
The full text of Zarghami’s letter is below:
Nickelodeon is incredibly successful at the moment and continues to thrive because of the people who work here. You put your heart and soul into what you do. And we are committed to giving you the tools and resources you need to succeed and thrive here.
Something we have long provided, as has the whole of Viacom, is a commitment to fostering a safe and professional workplace environment. It is one of our foundational principles, and it is non-negotiable.
This principle is not an idea that can be pushed solely from the top down. It is everyone’s responsibility to contribute to our culture, to value one another, and to promote inclusivity and respect on all levels.
I have been at the company for more than 30 years, and since the beginning of my time here, I have come into the office, and left it every day, feeling that we are doing good work, that we are good people, and that it is a privilege and responsibility to create great characters and stories for kids.
In the current climate, it feels necessary to say that if you should encounter an uncomfortable situation at work, or witness one, you are safe to speak up. If you hear something, and are unsure of what to do, you are safe to tell your supervisor or Human Resources. If you need help, in any way, you are safe to ask for it.
We value each and every one of you just as much as we collectively value our audience, and I am proud of the incredible brand and business we have built.