University of California students demanded that Norman Pattiz resign from the Board of Regents because of his alleged inappropriate sexual comments to comedian Heather McDonald in 2016.
McDonald discussed sexual harassment in an episode of her podcast, Juicy Scoop. She was recording an ad for a memory foam bra, when Pattiz entered the room and asked if he could hold her breasts. She told him that he was making her nervous, and has said that he has often made her feel uncomfortable. McDonald has released audio of the incident.
Pattiz could be charged with several offenses as a result of this incident, such as Penal Code Section 243.4 sexual battery, sexual harassment and sexual harassment in the workplace. However, at this time, no charges have been filed. The punishment for this charge can include lifetime registration on the Sex Offender’s Registry (Penal Code Section 290).
UC Berkeley students protested outside a Board of Regents meeting on Wednesday November 15th at UCSF Mission Bay. Other students raised the issue in a public comments period of the meeting, although Pattiz himself was not present.
This protest is only the latest demand from students for Pattiz's resignation. The University of California Student Association has issued two resolutions for his resignation, once in January, and again in September.
Pattiz is also the CEO of PodcastOne, a company with its own lawsuit. A former employee, Raymond Hernandez, has filed a lawsuit against Norman Pattiz. Hernandez says that Pattiz made an employee fake data to increase advertising revenue, brandished loaded handguns (Penal Code 417) to force the employee to comply, and then fired the employee when they complained about it. Hernandez also said that Pattiz told employees to bad-mouth him and ensure that he was fired from his subsequent job.
Hernandez believes that Pattiz has behaved like this because he believes that Hernandez gave McDonald the recording that she made public. Pattiz has apologized for the comments, but denies Hernandez's accusations.
Pattiz has said that he will not resign from his post on the Board of Regents. In an interview he said, ‘They ought to be ashamed of themselves,” and has said that he believes that the criticism of his joke comes from the national conversation regarding sexual harassment. He said that “what was considered funny, maybe, a short time ago isn't funny anymore.”
The Daily Californian: UC Regent Norman Pattiz: ‘I’m not going to resign’