A Hollywood comedy writer whose credits include several popular TV shows had revealed that she, too, faced sexual harassment in the workplace — and was penalized after speaking up.
Daley Haggar says that while she has dealt with her 'share' of sexism in the industry, one particularly awful experience takes the cake: the period of time that she faced repeated sexual harassment from senior staff member and was given the brush-off when she reported it.
What's worse, she recalled in an essay for Lenny Letter, is that she was eventually fired and thinks it was a direct result of her speaking up.
More voices: Hollywood writer Daley Haggar has spoken out about sexual harassment she faced while writing for a TV show
Daley does not name the man who she says harassed her repeatedly, doing things like sticking food in her cleavage, telling her she was making him 'hot', speaking openly about his sexual experiences, and making her generally uncomfortable with inappropriate remarks.
Neither does she name the sitcom, explaining that she fears legal repercussions.
She does, however, say that she was a writer for the program, and it has 'haunted me for years to come' and that 'time passed', indicating that she left it several years ago.
Daley is credited as a writer of a single episode of Help Me Help You in 2016, two episodes of The Big Bang Theory in 2008 and 2009, and two episodes of Friends with Benefits in 2011 (though she also had credits as an executive story editor for 11 episodes of that show).
She spent the most time on the Charlie Sheen sitcom Anger Management, from 2012 to 2014. She was credited as a writer for eight episodes during that time, and as an executive story editor for 24 episodes.
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Upsetting: She said she was demoted and eventually fired but would not name the sitcom. Her past jobs include writing for Anger Management
Issues: She also briefly worked at Big Bang Theory, but does not indicate whether or not that was where she experienced harassment
She's also been a consulting producer on Too Late with Adam Carolla and Where My Dogs At?, and a consultant on The Apprentice.
It's unknown which gig was the subject of her essay, in which she details the harassment and the aftermath.
It didn't start of well, she said, despite her excitement and landing the gig. One of the few other women quit after just two months. The other woman's dad directed porn, yet the woman still allegedly called this job 'the most degrading workplace she's ever seen'.
Daley said she tried her best to have a positive attitude. She knows TV writing is a 'freewheeling, creative environment,' so there's more freedom to say certain things.
But this means that it can be harder to tell when someone has crossed a line, and women might doubt herself or worry that she is overreacting.
Career: Other past jobs include a gig at The Apprentice and writing for Friends with Benefits
'Being sexually harassed by a sitcom writer is like being sexually harassed by your gynecologist. It can be hard to tell if the guy's being a pervert or just doing his job,' she said.
One man whom she refers to as Carlton (not his real name) did cross the line, however. She said he 'liked' to make people uncomfortable, and she often had to keep a fake smile plastered on her face. Even her co-workers noticed and tried to make jokes to diffuse the situation.
The harassment affected Daley's confidence and her work suffered. Eventually, her boss called a meeting with her and said that the issues she and Carlton were having were 'distracting', indicating that it was mostly her fault.
He asked her not to tell anyone about Carlton's behavior and they would handle the matter 'internally'. Soon, Daley was demoted, and eventually they let her go.
Turned off: Daley said she didn't speak out before because she was discouraged, noting that women who complain about sexism are often seen as 'easily triggered killjoy snowflakes'
'The part that really messed with my head was the idea that I was a distraction rather than a useful part of a team,' she said. She also didn't feel like she could talk about it, because people told her it would ruin her career.
'Complaining about sexism makes you sound like the kind of easily triggered killjoy snowflake who complains about sexism. And who wants to hire her?' she said.
Eventually, though, she realized while speaking with friends that many of them had similar stories.
Recent revelations about Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual harassment and assault have also left more women feeling encouraged to open up about their own experiences.