Say what you want about The Morning Show as a piece of televisual art, but as an actual news operation? The Apple TV+ show just jumped out of its reality to break a story in ours. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, The Morning Show writer Jay Carson interviewed ABC News producer Kirstyn Crawford in 2017 about the prevalence of sexual harassment in the morning-news field as research for the series. During these interviews, Crawford told Carson that she herself was sexually assaulted in 2015 by her then-boss, Good Morning America head producer Michael Corn. Carson brought the information to GMA anchor George Stephanopoulos, who said he then alerted “key executives.”
In a lawsuit filed in August 2021, Crawford alleges that ABC and parent company Disney failed to investigate allegations against Corn after they were brought to executives’ attention by Stephanopoulos. Crawford claims that ABC and Disney did not investigate these and other claims about Corn when they learned of them in 2017. Her claims are corroborated by “people familiar with the matter.” The lawsuit states that Crawford did not personally take matters to HR because she feared it would “do more harm than good or even result in losing her job” and that ABC retaliated against her by not renewing her contract after she eventually did come forward earlier this year.
In February 2021, Crawford and a second alleged victim, former ABC News producer Jill McClain, filed formal complaints against Corn. Per a spokesperson, corporate legal and HR did an independent investigation following these complaints and fired Corn in April. Corn denies the allegations made against him, and ABC denies the claims made in the lawsuit, with a spokesperson telling the WSJ, “We will defend against the remaining claims that ABC failed to take appropriate action against Mr. Corn.” GMA gave no additional statement to Vulture when asked to comment.