×

Vice Suspends Film Producer Jason Mojica Amid Sexual Harassment Investigation

Jason Mojica, head of Vice Media’s documentary films unit, has been put on leave as the company looks into his interactions with an employee who alleges she was sexually harassed, Variety has confirmed.

A Vice rep declined to comment. Asked for comment, Mojica said in an email, “Nobody has suggested to me that I’ve been suspended.” He did not provide further comment.

Mojica, in a Daily Beast report published Wednesday, was accused of making sexually charged jokes to a former Vice producer, who left the company last year. The ex-employee, Phoebe Barghouty, also said that Mojica waved off her concerns about Kaj Larsen, previously Vice News’ L.A. bureau chief, whom she said had engaged in repeated sexually inappropriate behavior toward her.

Vice said it launched an investigation into the claims after the Daily Beast story came out.

In the Daily Beast article — which painted a picture of a pervasive culture at Vice of hostility toward women — Barghouty claimed that Mojica once asked her how “flexible” she was. That was allegedly after Mojica cited Vice’s nontraditional workplace agreement, which requires employees to agree that they will not object to “offensive, indecent, violent or disturbing” material they are exposed to in the workplace. (Mojica denied to the Daily Beast the exchange occurred.)

Barghouty also said she told Mojica, who was ViceNews.com’s editor-in-chief at the time, about Larsen’s behavior toward her, including her claim that Larsen touched her inappropriately at work. According to her account, Mojica responded that “you just have to deal with that” because Vice News employs “sociopaths” who are willing to travel into war zones, the Daily Beast reported.

Popular on Variety

Vice has defended the “nontraditional workplace agreement” employee contract. The company says such agreements are not unique to Vice and that it in no way sanctions sexual harassment or biased treatment of employees. “A nontraditional workplace agreement is often used by companies to certify employees’ comfort with content that could be considered edgy,” a company rep said in an emailed statement.

Mojica was hired by Vice in 2011 as a producer. Prior to that, he worked for Al Jazeera English in London as a producer and was founder and editor of The Modernist, a publication described as “The online journal of sex, art, and the New Internationalism” (Mojica’s Twitter handle is @elmodernisto).

 

More Digital

  • Gary Levine and Jana Winograde Showtime

    Showtime, HBO Broaden Scope as Parent Companies Aim to Grow Their Audiences

    For years, the halo around premium cablers such as HBO and Showtime has been integral to their branding. Their parent companies in a past life — Time Warner and CBS, respectively — seemed to be content with the tens of millions of subscribers each had accumulated. But now, shepherded by new corporate owners — AT&T’s [...]

  • Josh Simon - Netflix

    Netflix Hires Nike Exec Josh Simon as VP of Consumer Products

    Netflix’s burgeoning consumer products group has a new boss: Josh Simon, who is leaving Nike to join the streaming giant. Simon, who’s also a Disney and Color Force alum, has been named VP of consumer products for Netflix. Based in L.A., he will start at the company the week of March 2 to oversee the [...]

  • Bob Chapek Disney CEO

    Why Wall Street Is Unhappy (for Now) With Disney's CEO Change

    We all knew the end was coming. Bob Iger had promised, time and again, that the end was coming. But the rather abrupt announcement Tuesday afternoon that he would relinquish his longtime role as CEO of the Walt Disney Co. — and that theme parks head Bob Chapek would succeed him at the top of [...]

  • FandangoNow - Amazon Fire TV

    Fandango's Video Streaming Service Lands on Amazon Fire TV

    FandangoNow, the on-demand transactional movie and TV service from NBCUniversal-owned Fandango, is now available on Amazon Fire TV devices and Fire TV Edition Smart TVs. The expansion to Amazon’s TV hardware platform comes as Fandango vies to get a bigger slice of the digital-entertainment pie — competing with Amazon Video, as well as Apple, Google [...]

  • The Spanish Princess Starz

    Starz CEO Jeffrey Hirsch Lifts Lid on Local Originals Drive for SVOD Starzplay

    Starz CEO Jeffrey Hirsch has outlined the local originals strategy for Starzplay, revealing that a slate of shows are being planned out of the Middle East and India as the business looks to complement its U.S. and English-language pipeline of content. Speaking at the Berlinale Series Market and Conference on Wednesday, the executive told Variety that the [...]

  • Netflix-logo-N-icon

    Netflix Adds Deals With Six Anime Creators in Japan

    Global streaming giant, Netflix is partnering with six different Japanese creators in order to expand its slate of originals anime content. Among the deals are ones with Clamp, the female manga collective that was responsible for the “Cardcaptor Sakura” franchise. Another is with Mari Yamazaki, whose “Thermae Romae” manga was turned into two hit live-action [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content