Bart to resume duties on Sept. 10
Peter Bart will resume his duties as editor-in-chief of Variety and Daily Variety on Sept. 10, after a 21-day suspension without pay.
The announcement was delivered to employees in the Variety newsroom Thursday afternoon.
Cahners Business Information, parent company of the publications, conducted an inhouse investigation into statements allegedly made by Bart or attributed to him by anonymous third parties that appeared in the September issue of Los Angeles magazine.
In a press release, Bart said: “I was quoted making several statements to a Los Angeles magazine reporter that do not reflect my personal beliefs and values or the way that I run the newsroom. Nevertheless, I am deeply sorry and regret that they offended anyone. It will not happen again.”
Tad Smith, president of the media division of Cahners, stated: “After a thorough investigation, it was clear that Variety‘s staff wants him back and does not believe the quotations fairly represent the Peter they know.”
The company suspended Bart on Aug. 17. As part of his agreement on his return, he will participate in diversity training.
The company’s investigation also did not substantiate the article’s allegations that Bart sold a movie script while at the newspaper. However, the company found that Bart’s actions created the appearance of a conflict of interest, and directed Variety to strengthen and publish its editorial policies shortly after Bart returns to work.
Cahners and Bart agreed that his compensation for the 21-day period would be donated to “appropriate organizations dedicated to the promotion of diversity.” The company said it will also make a “substantial donation” to the same organizations.
Smith added: “Peter understands the distress which such comments can cause and he knows that he made a mistake. The company takes its values very seriously and expects all of its employees, no matter how prominent or distinguished, to set an excellent example.”