Tom Ashbrook, the host of one of National Public Radio’s most successful programs, was placed on leave Monday amid allegations that he subjected nearly a dozen subordinates to “creepy” sex talks and unwanted advances.
Ashbrook, who hosts the nationally-syndicated “On Point” show, allegedly made at least 11 young male and female co-workers uncomfortable with lengthy sex rants, according to allegations compiled by the show’s Boston-based producer, WBUR-FM. He allegedly also subjected the staffers to unwanted hugs and back or neck rubs.
Ashbrook, who has hosted the award-winning show for 16 years, denied the claims, saying in a statement that “once the facts come out” people will see that he’s “caring and decent.”
One of Ashbrook’s ex-staffers claimed the 60-year-old host distorted her perception of journalism.
Media personalities accused of sexual misconduct
“Working at ‘On Point’ as a young woman in journalism sets up a very bizarre understanding of expectations,” the woman said in the complaint. “It has taken several years to adjust my understanding of what is normal behavior and what is not in the workplace.”
The claims against Ashbrook come as numerous media organizations across the country grapple with sexual harassment allegations against powerful male staffers.