Most people know that you don’t fix years of alleged sexual misconduct by putting out a press release and clamming up. But apparently HSUS CEO Kitty Block thinks otherwise.
In a press release by the Humane Society of the United States this week, the organization declared that its “Reconciliation Process,” which was launched supposedly to fix the damage done by alleged sexual harassment by former executives Wayne Pacelle and Paul Shapiro, was over. HSUS announced it would simply shift some policies around and do some training. Oh, and by the way, Block is really “sorry” for all of the alleged sexual harassment that the Board of Directors tried to bury. (Readers may recall the Board of Directors voted to keep Pacelle and shutter the investigation into him.)
The press release was cold and highly self-serving. Instead of taking broader measures to actually stop future harassment, Block used most of the release to highlight how she too has gone through struggle and briefly touched on the changes made with an occasional apology.
Turns out we’re not the only ones skeptical. Someone shared with us a Facebook post written by one of the women allegedly subjected to Wayne’s harassment, who offered an inside look at the “Reconciliation Process.”
According to her, the process essentially amounts to surface changes that keep the same people who originally had helped protect Pacelle in power and prevents victims from speaking out.
She talks about the fact that Pacelle and Shapiro were able to leave with “pensions, severance, book promotional tours, their own framing” but all she was given was a few months’ pay, which was reduced by taxes and legal fees.
She also doesn’t have the ability to fully speak out against HSUS as the organization refuses to remove her NDA. They breifly removed the NDA to participate in the “reconciliation process”—but only so they could turn the victim’s testimony into rhetoric. Not even the victim has been contacted on the process since October, and she hasn’t seen the report or its recommendation.
Everything might be all wrapped up for HSUS, but the victims it’s left in its path feel otherwise. And, as expected, HSUS has not been transparent about what happened. How much money did it pay Pacelle and Shapiro? How many victims were there? Why are board members who voted to keep Pacelle still on the board?
Kitty Block may be the new boss, but she seems just like the old bosses.