Defy Media CEO Pledges Company Reforms After Screen Junkies’ Andy Signore Firing for Sexual Misconduct

Defy Media said it is taking several steps to change how it deals with sexual harassment claims in the wake of the firing of Andy Signore (pictured above), founder of Screen Junkies and “Honest Trailers,” over sexual harassment and assault allegations.

CEO Matt Diamond, in a blog post Thursday — nearly three weeks after Signore’s employment was terminated — wrote that “after learning the full extent of his egregious and intolerable behavior” the company’s management team has asked employees for input on how to improve its processes. The company has been criticized by Signore’s accusers for failing to take action, and at least one of them had informed Defy Media’s HR department of his behavior two months prior to his dismissal.

The new initiatives being enacted by Defy Media, according to Diamond, are:

  • HR Policies Review and Reform: The company is working with external human-resources consultants to review how it handles harassment claims and related issues and to identify areas of improvement.
  • Revision of Training and Development Programs: The company is reviewing and revising its existing programs, including sexual-harassment training for managers, and is making those mandatory for all employees.
  • Code of Conduct for Fan Interaction: Defy will establish a code of conduct that “demands absolute professionalism from our creators” and will be “codified and enforced.”
  • Creator-Driven Advocacy Initiatives: The company will encourage Screen Junkies and other brands to “use their platforms for positive advocacy and support, when appropriate and relevant.”

After the Harvey Weinstein sexual-harassment scandal broke, multiple women came forward on social media to recount Signore’s sexually inappropriate acts.

One woman, April Dawn, alleged that Signore tried to sexually assault her “on multiple occasions” and that he had threatened to fire her boyfriend, Screen Junkies employee Josh Tapia, if she went public. According to Dawn, she informed Defy Media’s HR department about Signore’s behavior two months prior but “all they’ve done is protect him.” Emma Bowers, who had worked as an intern for Signore, said Signore once invited her to watch him masturbate, and another woman, Devin Murphy, wrote that after she began interacting as a fan with Signore, he made sexual overtures to her and tried to arrange numerous meetings with her.

Popular on Variety

During a discussion by Screen Junkies staffers posted Thursday on its YouTube channel, Screen Junkies News editor-in-chief Roth Cornet said “there were serious questions about how Defy HR handled the women who came forward and their cases, and we took that very, very seriously.”

According to Cornet, the Screen Junkies team met with Defy Media’s management and “outlined steps forward to ensure that this would not happen again, and that is our No. 1 goal.”

More Digital

  • HQ Trivia

    HQ Trivia Lives? CEO Claims He's Found Potential Buyer for Live Game-Show App

    Hold the phone, HQties — there might be a second act for HQ Trivia. The once-buzzy live game-show app, whose audience had declined after peaking two years ago, shut down last week after the company ran out of money and a deal to sell it fell through. Now Rus Yusupov, CEO of parent company Intermedia [...]

  • Dolan Twins

    Dolan Twins to Launch Their First Podcast (EXCLUSIVE)

    The Dolan Twins, sibling digital influencers who have a combined following of more than 50 million across internet platforms, are set to launch their first podcast: “Deeper With The Dolan Twins.” The new weekly podcast from 20-year-old Ethan and Grayson Dolan is being produced under an exclusive pact with Cadence13, a division of Entercom Communications’ [...]

  • Justin Bieber Changes album cover

    Following Lil Nas X, Justin Bieber Track Is Latest to Highlight Online Marketplace

    A shout-out on social media from Justin Bieber has brought some additional shine to Splice Sounds, the popular platform for rights-cleared sounds and beats. The track “Running Over,” from Bieber’s album “Changes” and featuring Lil Dicky, was produced by The Audibles and is based on a loop created by British artist Laxcity and uploaded to Splice. [...]

  • LadBaby at Abbey Road Studio, London,

    Facebook Leans on Local Creators to Grow Watch and Hit New Target Areas

    As Facebook leans into sports, non-scripted and select scripted properties, it’s increasingly looking to an army of creators rather than A-list celebrities to tap into all three target areas as they grow businesses on the Watch platform. Facebook’s newly appointed head of entertainment media partnerships for Northern Europe Anna Higgs tells Variety, “The Watch strategy [...]

  • Apple-Coronavirus

    Apple Warns of Sales Shortfall for March 2020 Quarter, Blaming Coronavirus Outbreak

    Apple said the spread of the coronavirus in China has disrupted iPhone manufacturing and driven down sales in the country. As a result, the tech giant said it now expects to undershoot the revenue guidance it previously provided, of between $63.0 billion and $67.0 billion its fiscal 2020 second quarter (which ends March 28). “Work [...]

  • Jeff Bezos

    Jeff Bezos Forms $10 Billion Fund to Fight Climate Change

    Multi-billionaire Jeff Bezos, the world’s wealthiest person, announced a $10 billion fund to invest in projects that will combat the alarming trend of climate change. The Amazon founder and CEO announced the formation of the Bezos Earth Fund in an Instagram post Monday (Feb. 17).⁣⁣⁣ According to Bezos, the fund will begin issuing grants this [...]

  • Jake Paul

    YouTuber Jake Paul Launches Entrepreneur How-To Platform, Financial Freedom Movement

    YouTuber Jake Paul wants you to be financially free, for $19.99 a month.  At a rally on Saturday, the content creator — along with influencer friends and around 50 teenage and tween-age fans, some chaperoned by parents — launched the Financial Freedom Movement (FFM) in partnership with GenZ Holdings Inc., a Los Angeles-based brand development [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content