Another 'Mad Men' Writer Has Spoken Out Against Matthew Weiner: Read Her Statement
Whether you recognize her from her work as a writer and producer on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, for her work on Mad Men, or for her work on UnREAL, the fact that Marti Noxon is supporting Matthew Weiner's alleged victim is something to take note of. In a lengthy series of tweets, Noxon claimed that Weiner was an "emotional terrorist" who created an atmosphere where everyone was reportedly "off guard and unsure." (Bustle has reached out to Weiner's agent and attorney about the statement, but did not receive an immediate response.)
On Nov. 9, Mad Men creator Weiner was accused of sexual harassment by writer Kater Gordon, who claimed that the creator said late one night that she "owed" it to him to get to see her naked. In response to the accusations, Weiner's spokesperson issued the following statement:
“Mr. Weiner spent eight to ten hours a day writing dialogue aloud with Miss Gordon, who started on ‘Mad Men’ as his writers assistant. He does not remember saying this comment nor does it reflect a comment he would say to any colleague.”
On Tuesday, Noxon responded to Gordon's story by tweeting, "I believe her. I was at work with her the day after what she described transpired. I remember clearly how shaken and subdued Kater was — and continued to be from that day on."
According to The Information, who originally reported Gordon's allegations, the writer claimed that the reason she has no credits after her 2008 work on Mad Men was because her "confidence was crushed" by the alleged incident with Weiner and that she felt “threatened and devalued.” In her own statement, Noxon makes the clear claim that she witnessed the after effects of the alleged incident, even if she didn't witness the alleged incident itself.
Her full statement reads:
On the subject of Matt Weiner and #MadMen. About a week ago, Kater Gordon, a young female writer who worked on Mad Men bravely came forward with her account of being sexual harassed by Matt Weiner. While sharing writing duties with him, she recalls that he causally mentioned something to the effect of "you owe it to me to show me your naked body." I believe her. I was at work with her the day after what she described transpired. I remember clearly how shaken and subdued Kater was — and continued to be from that day on. Responding to her statement, Matt claimed he would never make that kind of comment to a colleague. But anyone with an even cursory knowledge of the show Mad Men could imagine that very line coming from the mouth of Pete Campbell.
Matt, Pete's creator, is many things. He is devilishly clever and witty, but he is also, in the words of one of his colleagues, an "emotional terrorist" who will badger, seduce, and even tantrum in an attempt to get his needs met. This personality type can not help but create an atmosphere where everyone is constantly off guard and unsure where they stand. It is the kind of atmosphere where a comment like "you owe it to me to show me your naked body" may — or may not — be a joke. And it may — or may not — lead to a demotion or even the end of a career. Everyone at Mad Men, regardless of gender or position, was affected by this atmosphere.
Why did we not confront him more or report him to our parent companies? Well, for one, we were grateful to him for the work and truly in awe of his talents. For another, it was hard to know what was real when moods and needs shifted so frequently. Self-advocacy is important, and I agree we all need to do it more and rely on less on faulty institutions to do it for us. But it is very difficult when the cost is, at best, fear and uncertainty — and at worst the loss of a job and ruined reputation. Taking that action is one thing to contemplate if you have money in the bank and family to fall back on, but quite another for people from all walks of life without a safety net. And when sexual favors are lightly added to the bag of tools one might use to stay employed and valued, it can be destabilizing or even devastating.
It may not be illegal, but it is oppressive. I witnessed it and, despite the fact that that I was a senior consultant on the show, I also experienced it in my own way in my days at Mad Men. I believe Kater Gordon.
In the past, Noxon has spoken of Weiner's exacting standards on the set of Mad Men, telling Vulture in June 2017 that "On the one hand, it was like boot camp, going back to the basics of good writing... On the other hand, Matt wasn’t happy, hardly ever, about anything the writers did." The fact that she has chosen to stand in solidarity with the alleged victim right now says volumes.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.