Giovanni Cianci, who has been the producer in charge of booking musical performers for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert since 2017, has been fired from that job after being accused of sexual harassment and attempted sexual assault. On July 22, Paige Stark, singer and drummer for LA dreampop band Tashaki Miyaki, posted on Instagram concerning Cianci’s alleged behavior at the 2010 CMJ Music Marathon, a music festival and conference that took place at various venues across New York City. Stark has since spoken about the events with Variety, who reported Cianci’s termination from Colbert today.
According to Stark’s account, Cianci, who was working for Lookout Management at the time, made advances toward Stark when the two were alone in an elevator, attempted to kiss her, and pinned her up against a wall when she resisted. As Stark wrote on Instagram, “He followed me and my band mate to a nearby bar and kept touching me and being in my personal space. I felt so unsafe I had to call another manager I knew- a man to come to physically remove Gio. Later I heard more stories about Gio.” She says he continued to “harass” her via Facebook and text messages in the following months. Two friends of Stark’s, including one who was with her at the bar that night, corroborated her story to Variety. Stark says she was too scared to take her allegations public at the time, but she emailed Cianci’s former boss at Lookout in 2017 and received no reply.
Kateri Palen, who has been a music segment producer for Colbert for five years, is now in charge of booking the music performances.
The text from Stark’s initial Instagram post:
In 2010 at the CMJ Music Festival @giocianci harassed and attempted to assault me. Immediately after this event he would not leave me alone. He followed me and my band mate to a nearby bar and kept touching me and being in my personal space. I felt so unsafe I had to call another manager I knew- a man to come to physically remove Gio. Later I heard more stories about Gio. I told several friends and my boyfriend at the time but was too scared to come forward publicly. I blamed myself despite the fact that I did nothing to warrant Gio’s advances or aggression. Countless times I have seen men cover each other, call women crazy and shift blame. At the time this happened I felt no one would support or believe me. I was young and scared. This event damaged me so greatly that for a period of time I was afraid to use my own image to promote my music, performed under aliases, and gave my band a name no one would likely ever attribute to me. I can not be silent anymore. In 2017 in the midst of the #metoo movement I attempted to privately reach out to Gio’s former boss Aram Goldberg, who is now a manager at Monotone. I was surprised to receive no response despite the fact that we had emailed in the recent past. As I am reading the stories of other survivors of harassment and assault I feel concerned Gio has probably hurt other women , and will again. His abuse of power was so great when he was an assistant at Lookout management, it makes me shudder to think what he is now capable of in his position as music producer for the @colbertlateshow .This bullshit has to stop now. No more coverups. STOP PROTECTING MEN WHO ABUSE THEIR POWER.
If you or someone you know is suffering from sexual violence, please contact RAINN or call the National Sexual Abuse Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.