In the wake of former Fader content chief Eric Sundermann’s dismissal from the company following sexual misconduct allegations, a new report in Jezebel claims that both The Fader and Sundermann’s former employers at Vice did not address similar allegations against him, some of which dated back several years.
The multiple anonymous sources who spoke with reporter Emily Alford accused Sundermann of repeatedly groping female coworkers at industry events and forcing his way into taxis with women who were intoxicated, among other inappropriate actions. The sources also claimed that Vice employees had planned to address Sundermann’s behavior publicly but were dissuaded from doing so by company HR, who told them an investigation was underway, although no action ensued. The sources said that publisher Andy Cohn and others at The Fader were aware of Sundermann’s alleged behavior before he was hired, and that Cohn had once behaved inappropriately at a 2011 company event. A rep for the company told Variety Wednesday that Cohn was not under investigation, disputing the claim of an anonymous source quoted in a Billboard article on the firing.
Sundermann worked at Vice from 2013 through 2018, becoming editor in chief in 2015. He joined The Fader last December.
Reps for The Fader and Vice did not immediately respond to Variety’s requests for comment on the article’s allegations and depictions, but a statement from the Fader quoted in it reads, “When Eric was hired by Fader, due diligence was conducted, including a check of references. Nothing we heard from anyone as part of that diligence process corroborated any rumor and we hired Eric with no basis to believe there would be any issues with his behavior or compliance with our policies.”