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Hollywood’s sexual harassment story is far from over, says the Hollywood Reporter’s Kim Masters

There are still more “powerful men” who have yet to be exposed, Masters said — right before she published a bombshell story about Disney and Pixar exec John Lasseter.

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The Hollywood Reporter Editor Kim Masters Courtesy Kim Masters

Harvey Weinstein. Roy Price. Kevin Spacey. Jeffrey Tambor. Louis C.K. Charlie Rose. And now, John Lasseter.

The list of prominent men in the media world who have been accused of routine sexual harassment is long and getting longer by the day. But the Hollywood Reporter’s editor-at-large, Kim Masters, says the story is not going away because there are still more men like them you haven’t heard about yet.

Job No. 1 for journalists like her is to get their victims to talk on the record.

“There’s a continuum of conduct. On the one end, there’s Harvey Weinstein/Kevin Spacey, seemingly criminal misconduct, and I don’t have a lot of sympathy for those people at all,” Masters said on the latest episode of Recode Media with Peter Kafka. “I think they deserve whatever befalls them. And at the far extreme on the other end, there are people who are just obviously, borderline pathetic, but also sick.”

“Some of these people — and this does include Louis C.K. and other names that haven’t become public yet — I can tell you, there are names you wish to unhear,” she added.

Less than an hour after this podcast taping concluded, Masters published a story about Pixar and Disney Animation exec John Lasseter’s history of sexual misconduct in the workplace. According to the report, Lasseter acknowledged his “missteps” in a memo to employees and is currently on a six-month leave of absence from Disney.

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The Weinstein story, which for years many journalists had tried to get people to talk about on the record, opened the floodgates for everyone who has followed, including former Amazon executive Roy Price.

“There was just such a rush of news after the Harvey story broke,” Masters said. “It opened the door for the Amazon Studios story and, all of a sudden, people were calling and emailing and I keep saying, it’s like that scene in ‘MASH’ where the helicopters start landing.”

“We were evaluating constantly, ‘What can we get?’” she added. “‘What stories are the most gettable? Should we try this right away? Should we put this one aside for special concentration because the allegations are so egregious?’ And everything else started to seem, you know, less important.”

So why is harassment and other bad behavior seemingly so commonplace in Hollywood? Masters said the answer is obvious and visible in plain sight: There aren’t enough women “behind the camera.”

“It’s become increasingly clear to me the pervasiveness of misconduct, and not necessarily confining that sexual harassment,” she said. “There’s a frat-boy thing going on at a bunch of these companies and they don’t want women in the mix. They want to go to Vegas and do their thing without women making them feel like they can’t ... Until they start deciding, ‘Maybe we’re going to hire more women and promote more women,’ the risk of this abuse is there, and that’s why the conversation has to continue.”

If you like this show, you should also sample our other podcasts:

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  • Too Embarrassed to Ask, hosted by Kara Swisher and The Verge’s Lauren Goode, answers all of the tech questions sent in by our readers and listeners. You can hear new episodes every Friday on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcastor wherever you listen to podcasts.
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