Mark Harris is a longtime entertainment journalist in New York City, with bylines ranging from the New York Times to Entertainment Weekly. But most buzzed-about work may be an unfolding, ten-day-old Twitter thread. On Nov. 20, after the Harvey Weinstein sexual-harassment scandal broke, Harris tweeted, “I just did a quick count of the harassment stories in entertainment or media that I know are being worked on. Seven.”
The next day, he tweeted “1. John Lasseter,” amid news that the head of Pixar Studios was temporarily stepping down for inappropriate behavior. Yesterday’s revelations about Matt Lauer’s firing by NBC brought another tweet, naming the former Today show host “2.” That day, Variety and the New York Times published stories detailing that at least two women have come forward with allegations against Lauer.
I just did a quick count of the harassment stories in entertainment or media that I know are being worked on. Seven. And I’m not as plugged in as many. We are nowhere near done.
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) November 20, 2017
Now more than a few followers are refreshing the thread constantly, wondering, Who’s next?
What’s clear is that the breadth of the scandal is wider than even veteran pop-culture reporters realize: The two latest major revelations didn’t even make Harris’s list. On Wednesday, Minnesota Public Radio announced it was cutting ties to humorist Garrison Keillor after misconduct allegations. On Thursday, Russell Simmons said he was stepping down from his companies after writer Jenny Lumet published a piece in the Hollywood Reporter claiming that he sexually assaulted her in the ’90s.
The dam only burst less than a month ago, on Nov. 5, when Jodi Kantor and Megan Twomey reported on Weinstein’s history of sexual harassment dating back decades. And there are still depths to plumb in stories that have already been broken — as Harris himself tweeted, “I have so many questions about [former NBC head] Jeff Zucker about Matt Lauer.”
An NBC News poll released today shows that more than 80% of Americans believe sexual harassment on the job is widespread in any industry, and Hollywood veterans suggest that Harris’s list will grow at any minute. “There are some people who go into this business because they get off on having power,” Tom Hanks told People.com on Thursday. “And the times they feel the most powerful, which is why they went into the business, are when they are hitting on somebody who’s underneath them, [and] I don’t necessarily mean completely sexually. There are predators absolutely everywhere.”