Mad Men producer Marti Noxon calls Matthew Weiner an 'emotional terrorist'
Marti Noxon, a consulting producer and writer on Mad Men, is standing with Kater Gordon, a writer on the AMC drama who accused creator Matthew Weiner of sexual harassment. In a series of incendiary tweets posted to social media on Friday, Noxon didn’t mince words: she called Weiner an “emotional terrorist” who spread “fear and uncertainty” among his staff.
Gordon divulged in an interview with The Information earlier this month that Weiner allegedly told her that she owed it to him to let him see her naked. “I believe her,” Noxon tweeted. “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.”
A spokesperson for the Mad Men showrunner said Weiner “does not remember saying this comment nor does it reflect a comment he would say to any colleague.”
As far as Noxon is concerned, “anyone with an even cursory knowledge of the show Mad Men could imagine that very line coming from the mouth of Pete Campbell [Vincent Kartheiser’s character].”
A rep for Weiner could not be immediately reached for comment on Noxon’s remarks.
“Matt, Pete’s creator, is many things,” she continued. “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.”
According to Noxon, “everyone at Mad Men, regardless of gender or position, was affected by this atmosphere.” She explained the staff was “grateful to him for the work” and “truly in awe of his talents,” which made it difficult to bring these grievances forward.
“For another, it was hard to know what was real when moods and needs shifted so frequently,” she added. “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.”
Noxon concluded, “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.”
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