“Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner is denying the sexual harassment allegations made against him by writer Kater Gordon who worked for him on the AMC series.
While appearing at Chevalier’s Books in Los Angeles, Calif. on Friday to promote his new book “Heather: The Totality,” Weiner sat down with fellow television writer and producer Jenji Kohan. Kohan started the Q&A by addressing the elephant in the room.
“So, we’re here to talk about the book. This is a time that should be your victory lap,” Kohan began. “Just to get it out of the way, would you like to speak in regards to an accusation?”
In front of the packed audience, which included members of his family and store co-owner Darryl Holter, who called Weiner a “terrific guest” and noted his routine frequenting of the store, Weiner replied that “the allegation is not true.”
However, Weiner further expanded on the topic of sexual harassment by saying that he considered it a “very important topic” and “a topic that has been an obsession” in his work and life.
“For like 92 hours of the show, we wanted people to be having this conversation. It’s great that we’re having it. It’s a very serious issue. It’s great that we’re having this conversation,” Weiner said.
A couple of people in the crowd clapped, but when Kohan followed up by asking why “she,” referring to Gordon, would allege something against him, he stammered for a second before replying, “I don’t want to speak to someone else’s character, but I will say this: I have hired dozens of women over the years and dozens of people. I am a demanding boss. Especially in the early years, it was very hard to do it. I had a lot of stress and – you know this – it’s very lonely. When I think back on it, if I had to do it differently, letting people go and being mad about having to rewrite everything – I was just angry a lot of the time.”
Weiner added that he wanted the show to be great, but if he had to do things over again, he would do them differently.
“The person I am now would definitely do it in a different way,” he said of the way Gordon was let go from the show, adding that he did want to thank those he’s worked with over the years for their support. “They know how important this is to me and they know the kind of person that I am.”
Earlier in the day Marti Noxon publicly shared her support and belief of Gordon’s claims against Weiner. Despite Weiner appearing at Chevalier’s Friday, many other stops on his book tour earlier in the week, including ones in Seattle and Washington D.C., were canceled.
Weiner is currently working on a new drama series for Amazon entitled “The Romanoffs.”