Ex-CNA producer claims she was repeatedly discouraged from complaining to HR about sexism

Following her accusations, she said she was shunned in office.

Belmont Lay| October 10, 11:34 PM

A former Channel News Asia producer who accused a colleague of directing sexist remarks at her while on the job, has revealed in a latest Facebook post she was repeatedly discouraged from going to the human resource department to complain about the problem.

She made this revelation in a Facebook post on Oct. 10, 2017, on the same day mainstream media reports said the male colleague who made the sexist remarks is facing disciplinary action by the national broadcaster.


In the post, the woman, Juwon Park, also thanked the people who supported her, as she wrote about her experiences following her allegations on Oct. 5.

Ostracised and shunned

She said the comments online about her following her accusations affected her and caused her to hide in her room.

When she went back to work, she was treated like a pariah and shunned as she heard some of her colleagues blamed her for not being able to take jokes.

However, she does not regret speaking up and is happy that Mediacorp is acknowledging the additional allegations brought forth by five other producers and hope these too can be investigated.

The most severe revelation that will cause the most outrage though, is her claim about being discouraged repeatedly from going to her HR department to raise the issue of workplace sexism.

She said she wished this will not happen anymore in the future.


What has been reported in mainstream media

In a follow-up to previous reporting on this issue, The New Paper and Channel News Asia have reported on what action Mediacorp took, in addition to revealing more information about the male colleague.

According to CNA, the male colleague who made the sexist comments is a cameraman.

CNA also confirmed that the cameraman is a Singaporean and not Australian.

TNP reported that Mediacorp is investigating other allegations of "inappropriate conduct" by a staff member and two freelancers who work in the same unit as him.

TNP also said it understands Park has officially left Mediacorp after serving a shortened notice period that is less than two months.

Mediacorp told CNA it declined to elaborate on what disciplinary action is taken citing confidentiality.

But Mediacorp said via its spokesperson: "We embrace the diversity of our workforce and will fight any form of discrimination or harassment that threatens our core values."

"Our code of business conduct and ethics states that we do not condone any form of harassment and that employees who know of or witness inappropriate behaviours should report them. All employees of Mediacorp sign a renewed commitment to this code every year."

This is Park's Facebook post in full:

It has been the most difficult week in my life.

After my Facebook posts have gone viral, my face was plastered all over various local news outlets and sketchy online forums. The online comments referring to my body parts and face were very graphic and disgusting. I hid in my room and did not want to come outside.

When I gathered enough courage and went into the office yesterday, there were whispers. My close colleagues confided in me that some colleagues were blaming me for not being able to "take jokes." Some of my closest colleagues suddenly started avoiding me. I would like to think they probably did not know how to console me. Still, it was very painful.

I don't regret that I spoke up-- although it probably left some mud in my reputation and future job prospect. I spoke up because I cannot justify my job if i cannot even speak up for myself.

I am happy that Mediacorp is acknowledging *additional allegations* brought forth by five other producers and hope they will be fully investigated in the near future. And I hope this incident prompts more open culture and dialogue within the company. I think this is very important because I was repeatedly discouraged from going to HR with my past complaints. And that should not happen anymore. Everyone deserves to feel safe and respected at work-- regardless of their age, gender, sexuality or ethnicity.

I had a wonderful time in Singapore. I made everlasting friends such as Noreen and Claire . I've learned so much in Channel News Asia from wonderful colleagues who've supported me and encouraged me. I am especially grateful for Dawn Karen Tan and my direct boss Fred. They were so supportive and caring. I am forever grateful.

During past two weeks, I've received many messages from Singaporeans I do not know-- even from Houston, Texas! Sorry I cannot respond individually but thank you so much for your messages. It gave me strength.

I will be leaving Singapore soon as I am now a tourist :) Thank you Singapore.

If you like what you read, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Telegram to get the latest updates.