Is Mark Halperin Plotting a Return to TV After #MeToo Shame?
The disgraced author and former star of political punditry has been taking high-profile meetings with TV network executives and screen talent. What is he up to?
If you’re a disgraced TV star, it’s tough to take a lot of high-profile industry meetings without Page Six noticing.
It was reported on Tuesday that Mark Halperin, who left his prominent role as a political commentator at NBC and MSNBC after sexual harassment allegations, has embarked on a series of meet-ups with top TV figures. These meeting have sparked rumors that he wants to slime his way back onto our screens.
Sources close to Halperin told Page Six that meetings with former and current network stars and cable news regulars were simply social calls.
The round of media meetings is reported to have included a PBS executive, CNN pundit Hilary Rosen, ubiquitous screen presence Kellyanne Conway, and former television news legend Charlie Rose, who was canned by CBS after his own sexual harassment allegations.
“There was no discussion of TV in the meetings,” a source close Halperin told Page Six. “[He is] not thinking about his career at this point.”
Halperin was arguably the preeminent political analyst of his generation until sexual harassment allegations were made by five women. Two further women came forward to The Daily Beast to say that they, too, had suffered at his hands.
Halperin had been a regular face on television and his books—co-authored with John Heilemann—were considered essential reading on President Obama’s election campaign victories. The first of those, Game Change, was adapted into an HBO movie starring Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson and Ed Harris.
An HBO mini-series follow up, based on Halperin and Heilemann’s second book, was shelved in October when the allegations emerged. Their book on the 2016 Trump election was also cancelled.
Dick Beattie, an advisor to Charlie Rose, confirmed to Page Six that there had been a meeting between his client and Halperin but denied that they discussed strategies for returning to television.
Earlier this year, Tina Brown, former editor in chief of The Daily Beast, said she had been horrified to hear that a Charlie Rose redemption project was being shopped around by producers.
Speaking at an event in Brooklyn, she said said she had been asked about co-hosting a show with Rose that would feature interviews with other tainted former stars like Matt Lauer or Louis C.K.
“These guys are already planning their comebacks!” she said, according to Page Six.