Kater Gordon, who won an Emmy in 2009 for co-writing an episode of "Mad Men," reveals that she quit the show -- and writing completely -- after allegedly being harassed by series creator Matthew Weiner.
Gordon tells The Information (the site is subscription-only) that the incident happened when she was working alone with Weiner late one night on the episode that would win them the Emmy. "He told me that I owed it to him to let him see me naked," she said. She says she tried to brush off the comment, but she never felt the same way about him or the show again.
She felt "threatened and devalued," but decided not to confront him, saying, "it felt like a lose-lose situation." She was sure she'd be fired if she spoke out. "I thought, 'I can't do anything to jeopardize.' I need this credit. I saw no value to speaking out," she said. "So I did what I thought women were supposed to do."
She did tell a number of people about the incident, who confirmed her story to The Information.
A statement issued by Weiner's representative said that he "does not remember saying this comment nor does it reflect a comment he would say to any colleague." The statement also said, "During the nine years he was showrunner on 'Mad Men,' Mr. Weiner had a predominantly female driven writers room. He has long believed in and implemented an egalitarian working environment including the highest levels of production and writing based on mutual respect for all."
"I did my best to play along but couldn't divorce him from the comment, and I lost respect," Gordon said. "I couldn't in good conscious support him the way I did the previous year."
A few weeks after winning the Emmy, Weiner called Gordon to let her know he wouldn't be renewing her contract for the upcoming fourth season. She decided to quit writing and moved to Palo Alto.
After reading the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, she decided to form the nonprofit called Modern Alliance to help victims of sexual harassment. "I spent a couple days feeling down and feeling upset and aimless. And then I got inspired."