Did A New Lawsuit Cause A Rift Between These GMA Hosts?

Disagreements between colleagues happen all the time, and they are par for the course. But a majority of professional tiffs are hardly worth reporting on outside the workplace, unless they involve famous personalities and have the potential to disrupt television ratings as this one does.

The disagreement stems from a lawsuit filed in late August by TV producer Kirstyn Crawford, who works closely with George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America" ("GMA"). Crawford is suing the show's former top producer Michael Corn for alleged sexual assault and for creating a toxic work environment (via The Wall Street Journal). Both ABC and Corn, who is no longer with the network, dispute Crawford's accusations and have said they will fight her claims in court (via The Daily Beast).

While ABC and Corn are presenting a solid front, the case is serious enough to warrant a "GMA" team-wide call where the lawsuit was discussed. It was during this time that co-host Robin Roberts reportedly said "If this happened to someone on my team, I would have burned the place down." The Daily Beast, which reported on the incident, says several people who were present at the remote meeting confirmed that this occurred.

ABC News spokesman: 'Robin and George are fine...'

Whatever Robin Roberts intent might have been, staffers who heard her say what she did are convinced she had meant to send a barb at her fellow host George Stephanopoulos' way. According to the lawsuit, the popular host and Clinton administration alum knew about Crawford's allegations, and was reportedly "livid" over Roberts' comment. Stephanopolous was not at the meeting, because he is self isolating (via The Daily Beast).

When asked about the tiff, ABC News spokesperson Caragh Fisher said "Robin and George are fine ... She told him personally that she wasn't referring to him and called the team the next day to reiterate that her comment was not about any one individual."

What neither ABC News nor Stephanopoulos' spokesperson have not been able to address is whether the anchor knew of the incidents and what he had done about it. The lawsuit claims that Stephanopoulos knew, because he had spoken to Crawford in his office. It was the anchor that reportedly raised the matter to senior corporate officials involved with "GMA," including the senior director of publicity.

The Daily Beast says "GMA" staffers are unhappy over the way ABC News management has handled the case, and the fact that until the lawsuit, Michael Corn didn't face any consequences arising from his alleged assault, particularly as ABC has made it a policy to investigate sexual harassment claims, but no one on the senior management team had done so. It is hoped that ABC and Disney follows through on its policies this time.