Documentary, Editorial, News, Photojournalism, Uncategorized

Prominent photo editor Patrick Witty accused of sexual misconduct

A report published by Vox.com yesterday says he was investigated by National Geographic for sexually inappropriate behaviour

He’s a huge name in the industry, having worked at National Geographic, Time, Wired, and the New York Times (where he was part of a Pulitzer-winning team). But yesterday Patrick Witty was the subject of a long story published on Vox.com, which alleged he was investigated by National Geographic for sexual misconduct last Autumn. The story went on to add that more than 20 people had come forward to Vox.com to report experiencing, witnessing, or hearing corroboratory reports of his inappropriate behaviour.

“In November 2017, several women at National Geographic pressured the magazine’s human resources department to investigate Patrick Witty, then deputy director of photography, for allegedly abusing his power in the industry for years to get away with predatory sexual behavior toward female colleagues, freelance photographers, and peers in the field,” opened the story by AJ Chavar. “But human resources had already launched an investigation in mid-October, according to a source at National Geographic familiar with the internal review.”

Witty stopped working at National Geographic in December 2017, announcing his departure on social media such as Twitter and Instagram on 03 January and simply stating that he was “Excited for my next chapter”. Chavar went on to claim that National Geographic Partners CEO Declan Moore sent an internal email in response to his Vox.com story, referencing “the termination of our Deputy Director of Photography, Patrick Witty”, and confirming that “our Human Resources team conducted a very thorough investigation as soon as issues were raised by women inside and outside of NPG regarding his behavior”.

The Vox.com story also includes stories from women photographers describing Witty’s behaviour – including two who publicly went on the record, Andrea Wise and Emilie Richardson. To BJP‘s knowledge, Witty has not publicly responded to these allegations; BJP has contacted him for comment. The Vox.com story can be read here