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BUZZKILL: Vox Media No Longer Hosting ‘Open Bar’ Christmas Party Due To Sexual Misconduct Allegations

By  Paul

Sexual harassment allegations at Vox Media are quickly creating a real buzzkill for the company’s Christmas party this year, literally.

According to HuffPo, after firing its editorial director for sexual harassment, Vox Media announced to its staff that there will be no open bar at this year’s Christmas party. In an email to their New York staff on Thursday, Vox underscored that partygoers will each receive two drink tickets and after that, only non-alcoholic beverages will be served to avoid potential “unprofessional behavior.” Email below:

Hello all,

We invite you and a guest to join us at Vox Media’s holiday party on December 12 at Freehold. Details are in the invite – please click to RSVP by Wednesday, December 6th.

A note on alcohol at this event: This year, at the request of many of you, we will ramp up the food and cut down on the drinks. There will be more passed hors d’oeuvres to keep everyone well-fed. And instead of an open bar, each attendee will receive two drink tickets with which they can get alcoholic drinks if they choose. After that only non-alcoholic drinks will be available.

We recognize that even though alcohol isn’t always the reason for unprofessional behavior, creating an environment that encourages overconsumption certainly contributes to it. We hope that you all appreciate the spirit of this change and we look forward to celebrating with you!

Sincerely, The Experiential Team

The announcement follows a previous policy laid out by Vox CEO Jim Bankoff, who told staffers shortly after the sexual harassment allegations hit their company that they will implement “tighter policies around alcoholic beverages at company events and meetings and generally ensuring work events and interactions meet the highest standard of professionalism.”

Last month, Vox Media fired their editorial director Lockhart Steele after a former employee alleged the company turned a blind eye to his sexual misconduct.

“I reported what had happened with the VP. A year later, I found out that an investigation had been done. That he had multiple victims within the company. That his punishment was being told he could not drink at corporate events any longer,” she wrote. “He had too many shares in the company. There was nothing they could do.”

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