Showtime said it would “evaluate all options” on its political documentary series in the wake of accusations of sexual harassment levied at one of its co-hosts, political journalist Mark Halperin.
“During Mark’s time working with us, we have not seen nor have there been allegations of any untoward behavior. We are aware of these reports and will continue to evaluate all options should we decide to move forward with another season of ‘The Circus,”‘ the CBS Corp.-owned premium cable network said in a statement. “There is no tolerance for sexual harassment within Showtime and its productions.”
The remarks come after NBC News said earlier Thursday that it would suspend Halperin’s role as a contributor “until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood.”
CNN reported Wednesday that five women had come forward accusing the journalist, who has co-written several books about recent elections, accusing him of sexual harassment in incidents ranging from propositioning them for sex to kissing to grabbing one’s breasts against her will. The alleged incidents are believed to have taken place when Halperin worked for ABC News.
“During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me,” Halperin said in a statement to CNN Wednesday night. “I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain. For that, I am deeply sorry and I apologize. Under the circumstances, I’m going to take a step back from my day-to-day work while I properly deal with this situation.”
Showtime has aired two cycles of “The Circus,” a politics-focused documentary series that has examined the 2016 presidential election as well as the first year of the Trump administration. Halperin hosts the program along with John Heilemann and Mark McKinnon.
HBO has greenlit a minseries project that is supposed to be based on the newest edition of “Game Change,” a series of books co-written by Halperin and Heilemann that takes readers behind the scenes of recent presidential elections. The latest iteration is slated to examine the 2016 election, and is set to be directed by Jay Roach, who will also will serve as executive producer with Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman.