The clients who hired Washington PR firm FitzGibbon Media were decidedly progressive: labor unions, MoveOn, and the Center for American Progress were on the roster. The company even repped plenty of women’s groups, from NARAL to UltraViolet, an anti-sexism group.
But the behavior of its founder and president, Trevor FitzGibbon, was described by employees in a way that could charitably be called Neanderthal. According to a report by the Huffington Post, the firm shuttered Thursday after multiple women accused FitzGibbon of sexual harassment and there were two accusations of sexual assault.
In a statement to HuffPo, FitzGibbon apologized to clients. “The allegations against me are a distraction to the mission at hand,” the statement read.
Before you hear any different, @fitzgibbonmedia closed because we would no longer follow the leadership of a serial sexual harasser.
— Sean Carlson (@itsthatseanguy) December 17, 2015
The HuffPo described several women’s accounts of their interactions with FitzGibbon, once considered a powerful figure in liberal circles: One prospective employee said he propositioned her, and a client of the firm described him grabbing her breast.
After news of the firm’s closing, which left an unspecified number of staffers without jobs, the progressive community rallied around the laid-off workers. They began circulating a spreadsheet detailing open jobs and offers of professional help.
— Julia Rosen (@juliarosen) December 18, 2015
Many tweeted their support of the women who came forward — and called out the hypocrisy within their community.
— Claire S. Gould (@clairesgould) December 18, 2015