Andrew Yang’s 2020 campaign fired an unnamed staffer over alleged misconduct that first surfaced publicly when actress and #MeToo activist Alyssa Milano announced she would be pulling out of a fundraiser for the Democratic presidential candidate over the incident.
Yang said the unspecified “mistreatment” was not sexual in nature, according to Politico, which first reported the staffer’s firing.
“To the extent that a particular individual was in a position to mistreat another employee, that’s no longer the case today,” Yang told reporters Wednesday.
The candidate’s remarks came one day after Milano announced in a Twitter thread that she would be pulling out of a Dec. 21 fundraiser for Yang over “repeated allegations of sexual misconduct” made by a campaign staffer against another staffer that were allegedly “not appropriately addressed.”
“While I have not endorsed any candidate, I do believe Andrew Yang is a good man with progressive, smart, interesting ideas,” she wrote. “But this issue is too important and too prevalent. The buck stops at the top.”
A Yang campaign spokesperson told The Daily Beast that they take “these matters seriously” and underscored that “creating a safe environment” within the campaign is a top priority. The campaign also said it fired the staffer before Milano tweeted about the incident.
“To those ends, we have initiated prompt action to evaluate these allegations and will take all necessary steps to ensure that we foster a work environment that is in accordance with our values,” the spokesperson said.
When asked about the discrepancy between Milano’s “sexual misconduct” claim and Yang’s disclosure of non-sexual “mistreatment” by his staffer, the campaign said: “Andrew Yang’s remarks stands.” Milano had no immediate comment on the discrepancy.
Milano was set to host the fundraiser with Yang’s wife, Evelyn, and actress Teri Hatcher, according to CNN. Hatcher did not respond to questions from The Daily Beast on whether she would still be hosting the fundraiser.
Yang’s most recent poll numbers qualified him for the December Democratic debate, with a Tuesday Quinnipiac poll showing him at 4 percent. He will be joining the likes of former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on the debate stage on Dec. 19.