‘I cried the whole way home’
INTIMIDATION and inappropriateness during the interview process isn't just limited to Hollywood it appears.
After the Harvey Weinstein scandal dominated headlines for most of October, the sports world has its own scandal.
It began when American media giant ESPN began a venture with Barstool - a publication known for its crude humour and sexist jokes.
The move was a nightmare, copping stinging criticism from ESPN's own talent, including NFL host Samantha Ponder who had been a favourite target of Barstool.
ESPN quickly realised its mistake and officially pulled the plug on its new show "Barstool Van Talk" after just one episode.
In a statement released to social media, ESPN president John Skipper blamed the Barstool brand for his decision to cancel the show effective immediately.
"While we had approval on the content of the show, I erred in assuming we could distance our efforts from the Barstool site and its content," he wrote.
But the controversy didn't end there.
As ESPN continues to weather the storm of its aborted experiment, former Jets sideline reporter Jenn Sterger alleges the network's hands are just as dirty as the brand they dumped.
Sterger is speaking out against ESPN, revealing her own experience as a "victim" at the hands of one of the sports leader's leading men.
"Since we are being honest, I will say this: I HATE how Barstool Sports treats women. But the other side is just as bad," Sterger tweeted.
According to Sterger's detailed account, she was brought to Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2007 to test for an on-air opportunity.
Following the meeting, Sterger, then 23, was invited by an ESPN employee to go to a club. She was told "everyone was going," but was instead brought to a strip club.
"I was extremely uncomfortable by the situation and incredibly awkward as I had never stepped foot in one before," Sterger recalled. "I had to watch as my male co-workers got lap-dances from girls while they teased me about how I was uncomfortable and didn't want to participate."
Sterger said she was confronted by two bosses the following day, asking whether she went to the strip club.
"I told them I had been, but didn't want to be there once I realised what it was. They admonished me and said it was a bad look for the company for me to be there and to never do it again," she recounted. "I was fired before my plane landed in Tampa."
It is unclear if Sterger worked at ESPN. "We have no record of this ever being brought to our attention," the network said in a statement. "We thoroughly investigate all allegations brought to us. Fostering a professional and respectful workplace is a top priority for ESPN and we always encourage people to report any issues."
Sterger shared another experience from 2008, in which the same ESPNer invited her to Bristol, Connecticut, to interview for a potential job opportunity.
"They sent a car service to Jersey to pick me up. When I asked for more details about the job, everyone I spoke to were super vague and nondescript about what they were looking for. They had me come in, and paraded me around the place. Then took me into the office for some weird line of questioning. Asking me if I had hooked up with 'so and so' etc. or 'this person' or 'that person' ... this was my job interview," she described.
When Sterger was informed her car for the trip home had been cancelled, she was invited to hitch a ride with the employee, who then discussed the "numerous girls" he was hooking up with, implying that "he was helping their careers."
Despite telling the employee she was in a relationship, he wouldn't budge.
"We made it to the city where he asked me to go to dinner with him, I declined & got on the closest train. I cried the whole way home. He still works there. He's still gainfully employed. He's a decision maker there," Sterger shared. "I later found out through a friend that works there they only brought me in to show his coworkers I was 'just as f***able in person as I was in pictures.' That and he insinuated he and I had hooked up ... Which NEVER happened."
Sterger also called out other women who publicly criticised Barstool, stressing the importance of fighting for one another no matter what's at stake.
"Some of the women that have spoken out against Barstool there are now some of the biggest and loudest champions of this movement of honest and Women standing up for ourselves. But need I remind some of them, that when the time came to defend me a few years ago, they were the first ones to say 'I asked for it,' 'look how she dresses,' and 'she probably just wants money,'" Sterger said.
"Support other women all the time. Not when it fits your f***ing agenda," she added. "It was just as easy to support me back then as it is to back these victims today."
- with staff writers, Fox News