In the early part of 2016, the leadership at Fox News decided it had to clean up the company's image and culture, as stories about Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly's multimillion-dollar sexual harassment settlements piled up.
Fox did what many big companies do: It doubled down on anti-harassment seminars, mandating them for all Fox workers, including freelancers. The Hollywood Reporter discovered that these trainings included the infamous Donald Trump Access Hollywood tape as an example of bad behavior.
"There was an audible gasp in the room, like, 'Can you believe this is happening?'" one attendee told the entertainment news outlet.
More from Vox:
How drug companies make you buy more medicine than you need
What declaring a national emergency over the opioid epidemic could actually do
I'm a therapist. Here's the line I draw when treating men with unhealthy sexual habits.
Not only is the use of the tape bizarre, but there's another problem with the billion-dollar anti-harassment training industry: The research from sociology and organizational psychology suggests these programs aren't actually stopping or preventing harassment.
"Over 90 percent of large US employers have harassment trainings in place, but it's having very little effect, if no discernible effect, on the overall number of harassment complaints that are reported," said Harvard sociologist Frank Dobbin. "I don't think we can sit around and wait for training to solve the problem."
Experts who study workplace harassment view trainings as more of a strategic defense against future lawsuits than a solution to a pervasive problem. But as reports of sexual misconduct continue to pop up at an array of companies — Miramax and Weinstein, Uber, even Vox's parent company, Vox Media — the call for solutions will continue to grow. And the go-to solution, harassment training, might not be a fix at all.