A star reporter has been suspended by the New Yorker magazine after he exposed himself on a staff Zoom call, Jeffrey Toobin, 60, who is also senior legal analyst for CNN, confirmed in a tweet that he had been sacked.
The New Yorker’s parent company Conde Nast wrote in an email to staff: “I want to assure everyone that we take workplace matters seriously.” After he was suspended last month Mr Toobin said he had believed himself to be off-camera during the incident. Vice News, which broke the initial story, reported that senior colleagues had seen Mr Toobin masturbating while apparently on a separate video call. Condé Nast’s chief people officer, Stan Duncan, wrote in a note to staff quoted by US media that as a result of their internal investigation Mr Toobin was “no longer affiliated with our company”. He added: “We are committed to fostering an environment where everyone feels respected and upholds our standards of conduct.”
The incident happened on 15 October during an election simulation involving the New Yorker and WNYC radio, Mr Toobin was immediately suspended, in a statement to Vice last month, he said: “I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera.” He apologized to his family, friends and colleagues. “I believed I was not visible on Zoom,” he told Vice. “I thought no-one on the Zoom call could see me, i thought i had muted the Zoom video.”
Vice quoted two anonymous sources who were at the meeting as saying they had witnessed the incident, the election simulation involved prominent New Yorker figures playing politicians, such as President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden, Mr Toobin was representing the courts, during a break in proceedings, according to Vice’s sources, Mr Toobin appeared to be on a different video call but was seen moments later on camera touching his penis.