"I can tell you categorically, we do not have a frat-boy culture." So said ESPN's executive vice president for content John Skipper today when I asked about the recent incidents at ESPN involving on-air talent.
Here's his full quote:
"Look, we know we are in the spotlight and so when people associated with ESPN do foolish things, it is going to be news. There is nothing unfair about that.
We have 6,000-7,000 employees and we have another 3,000-4,000 people who work for us full-time, and you take any village of 10,000 people and a few of those people on any given day will act irresponsibly. When I went to college, there was always somebody in the dorm, you know? In the town I live in, there is a guy who goes across the street and sleeps with his neighbor. Stuff happens.
I can tell you categorically, we do not have a frat-boy culture. We do not condone that kind of activity. In fact, we have taken lots and lots of steps to create policies and we are fairly stringent when people who do things. We suspend people. We fire people. It is clear to everyone who works for us that are not going to tolerate it. But it is just human nature, human behavior.
No, we don’t have a culture run amok. It is a phrase everyone likes to use now. We have a culture of hard work and achievement and serving fans. We have a lot of employees and a few of them, every now and then, do something stupid."