Former Channel 7 employee Amber Harrison has thrown her weight behind Amy Taeuber.
Former Channel 7 employee Amber Harrison has thrown her weight behind Amy Taeuber.

Harrison links Taeuber case to Channel 7 boys' club

FORMER Channel 7 employee Amber Harrison has weighed in on the case of the female cadet who was sensationally sacked by the network weeks after making a sexual harassment complaint.

The woman at the centre of the latest Seven saga, Amy Taeuber, 27, has received an outpouring of support since ABC's 7.30 aired audio recordings revealing she had been accused of bullying and denied support in the weeks after she lodged a complaint against a senior staff member.

Ms Harrison was forced to pay Seven's legal costs this year after she leaked details of an affair with Seven boss Tim Worner and spoke against the company's "boys' club”.

She linked the two women's cases. "Amy Taeuber was targeted because she stood up for herself. More power to her,” Ms Harrison wrote on Twitter.

"Our examples are extreme (and public), but this happens every day, to many of you. Corporation vs Individual isn't a fair fight.”

Seven has been blasted with backlash since the investigation was broadcast on Monday night.

Yesterday Seven West Media's share price suffered as viewers called to boycott the network.

Ms Taueber has thanked members of the public for "overwhelming support” on the issue.

Amy Taeuber tweeted: "Thank you to everyone for the overwhelming support. It means the world. To those that have emailed - I will try to get back to you all.”

The former cadet at Seven News in Adelaide also tweeted a picture of herself with high-profile journalist Tracey Spicer at a Women in Media event on Tuesday night.

Spicer is the national convener of Women in Media who said she was "appalled” at the cadet's treatment, but it's all too common in Australia.

"We all expect that these kinds of attitudes and reactions from media companies to allegations of sexual harassment have been left in the bad old days of the 1980s and '90s,” she said.

"But our Women in Media research shows that simply isn't the case. Professional women face sexual harassment and discrimination in their workplaces every day, and it is time media executives take direct ownership of the stamping out of this toxic culture that allows harassment to continue and that ensures senior, predominantly male perpetrators continue to be protected.”

On Tuesday an audio recording of Amy being told she would be forced to leave the building by human resources went viral. It revealed the young cadet being told she was accused of bullying and she would be stripped of her phone and ID pass immediately.

The incident came after she had accused another male staff member of harassment after he allegedly called her a "lesbian”.

However Channel 7 hit back, saying Amy was fired due to a "breach of contract” rather than other allegations.

"We reject completely the claim we do not act fairly and supportively at all times with members of our staff,” a spokesperson told news.com.au.

It said Ms Taeuber was fired "many weeks afterwards following meetings and discussions when the former employee was represented by two successive firms of lawyers and the union”.

"It is untrue to say that she was not represented,” the company said.

The Media, Entertainment Arts Alliance Union said it was "concerned and deeply frustrated” that media companies treat sexual harassment allegations "with contempt”.

"This was certainly the case in the matter involving a now former Seven Network cadet journalist in Adelaide, whose case highlights the timely need for senior media executives - who are predominantly men - to take direct responsibility for ensuring the toxic culture that allows sexual harassment to be perpetuated, that protects perpetrators and that fails to protect the most vulnerable employees, is stamped out for good,” it said.

Many took to social media to praise Ms Taeuber for bringing the issue to light.

The Committee of Women in Media Victoria expressed their support publicly, saying harassment of female journalists and a reluctance to address the issue is "all too common” in Australia.

"Seven Network's decision to escalate the harassment by allegedly undermining the complainant suggests a troubling corporate culture. We would like to comment Ms Taeuber for speaking out in defence of her rights,” the group said.

- Victoria Craw



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