Seven has denied its dismissal of former cadet reporter Amy Taeuber was payback for her sexual harassment complaint against a senior journalist at the TV network.
Taeuber was fired in July last year by Seven over her involvement in social media pages run by her sister Kate that contained satirical memes My Kitchen Rules, the network’s reality TV gun.
Her sacking also came after Taeuber filed a sexual harassment complaint against senior Today Tonight journalist Rodney Lohse, claiming that he called her a “lesbian”.
Interestingly, The Australian Financial Review claims that Lohse made note of one of the social media memes pages in emails to the network at the time, which included screenshots and a caption from one meme saying “I don’t always rig MKR, but when I do, make sure my boyfriend is there for moral support”.
However, Seven denies that Taeuber’s dismissal was an act of revenge for her complaint against Lohse, and that the Today Tonight journo was not the one who initially made the network aware of the memes pages.
“Amy was terminated because she participated in the activities complained about, which were unprofessional and not becoming for a news cadet or other employee of the station/network,” a Seven spokesperson said.
“The reference to the memes came from various staff members, but it was not a secret.
“The website/ Facebook page was mentioned because the staff interviewed thought it was a ‘bit rich’ of Amy complaining about the lesbian reference, given the sisters – Amy included – had made all sorts of sexist jokes, including homophobic jokes, on the website/Facebook – which they thought was fair game.”
These latest developments come after Seven West Media CEO extended an invitation to to the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance and veteran broadcaster Tracey Spicer to meet with him to discuss the company’s work culture, which they labelled “toxic”, along with its handling of the Amy Taeuber case.