HBO said it would no longer move forward with a miniseries about the 2016 presidential election that is based in part on some of the work of political journalist Mark Halperin, who has been accused of sexual harassment.
“HBO is no longer proceeding with the project tied to the untitled book co-authored by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann on the 2016 Presidential election,” the Time Warner-owned premium-cable outlet said in a statement. “HBO has no tolerance for sexual harassment within the company or its productions.”
CNN reported Wednesday that five women had come forward accusing the journalist, who has co-written several books about recent elections and contributes to the Showtime series “The Circus,” and accused him of sexual harassment in incidents ranging from propositioning them for sex to kissing to grabbing one’s breasts against her will. CNN did not name the accusers. The incidents are alleged to have taken place while Halperin worked for ABC News.
Halperin’s work is well known. His political reporting has in recent years fueled programs aired by NBC News, the Showtime documentary series “The Circus,” as well as HBO’s “Game Change” movie that took viewers behind the scenes of the campaign to get John McCain elected president in 2008.
Earlier Thursday, NBC News said it had suspended Halperin’s role as a contributor “until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood.” Showtime said Thursday that it “will continue to evaluate all options should we decide to move forward with another season” of “The Circus.” The network noted that “we have not seen nor have there been allegations of any untoward behavior” during Halperin’s tenure on the series.
The newest edition of “Game Change,” based on books co-written by Halperin and frequent reporting partner John Heilemann that takes readers behind the scenes of recent presidential elections., was slated to examine the 2016 election, and was set to be directed by Jay Roach, who will also will serve as executive producer with Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman.