At the end of his first of three segments Wednesday morning on The View, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wrapped up his answer on the controversial “stop-and-frisk” policy by saying, “In some things, I did it wrong and I apologized and then tried to do something else.”
“Well, we’re going to give you more time to apologize,” Whoopi Goldberg said before throwing the commercial. That’s exactly what they did after the break, but this time, a defiant Bloomberg refused to take responsibility.
“I also have friends that have worked at your company and have wonderful things to say, but you have been accused in the past of making lewd and sexist comments and fostering a frat-like culture at your company that was uncomfortable for some female employees,” Abby Huntsman, who will leave a different kind of “toxic” work environment at the end of this week, said. “ABC has actually has spoken to several women who want to share their stories, but you won't release them from their NDAs.”
Huntsman then paraphrased Bloomberg’s 2020 Democratic primary rival Elizabeth Warren, who said, “If his company has an enviable record, then let people in his company or former people from his company speak about that enviable record. What is it that Michael Bloomberg has to hide?”
“We don't have anything to hide but we made legal agreements, which both sides wanted to keep certain things from coming out, they have a right to do that,” Bloomberg answered. “Remember, just because you signed a nondisclosure doesn't mean you can't talk about other things. You just can't talk about what was in that agreement where perhaps you don't disparage the other party or you don't want to retell a story, whatever it is.”
“You don't take away anybody's rights to say what they want to say,” he added, a bit disingenuously. As Huntsman tried to bring up “this #MeToo era,” Bloomberg continued to talk over her, “I think if you talk to most women in the company they would say equal pay, equal promotion, equal opportunity. it's a great place to work.”
“Did I ever tell a bawdy joke? Yeah, sure I did,” Bloomberg said. “Do I regret it? Yes, it's embarrassing, but, you know, that's the way I grew up.”
Among the inappropriate comments that Bloomberg allegedly made include urging a pregnant woman to “kill it” and admitting that he’d like to “do” several female employees.
Joy Behar attempted to laugh off the whole thing with Bloomberg, asking, “who hasn’t” told a “bawdy” joke at work? “You said that, not me,” he joked in response.
But Huntsman pressed on, asking, “So you have no desire to lift the NDAs?”
“No, we have an agreement. You couldn't do it if you wanted to,” Bloomberg said, “And incidentally, I think an awful lot of the women would not want to do that. There may be a few, but I don't think so.”
ABC News reported last week that it had “spoken with several women who expressed interest in telling their stories who were subject to confidentiality agreements, but said they feared the prospect of facing retribution from the company for speaking out.”
“And we don't have that many of them,” he added. “We have 20,000 people. We've been in business since 1981, and in recruiting, you know, I think most people would say we're a great place to work, at least I hope so. I can tell you that's what I try to do.”
There was no apology.