Swedish TV host pulls out of Christmas show after sexual harassment allegations

Swedish TV host pulls out of Christmas show after sexual harassment allegations
Lasse Kronér is the host of popular Swedish TV shows such as ‘Doobidoo’. Photo: Leif R Jansson / TT
One of Sweden’s most well-known TV hosts has decided to pull out of an upcoming Christmas show after being accused of sexually harassing a former intern.

Lasse Kronér, known from popular Swedish TV shows like “Doobidoo”, on Thursday announced he was canceling his appearance in an upcoming Christmas show in Gothenburg after being accused by a former intern of sending her inappropriate text messages.

The allegations come in the aftermath of the worldwide #MeToo campaign which was started in response to the allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of raping, harassing, and assaulting multiple women over a period of several years, including a number of well-known actresses.

In Sweden, the campaign has led to multiple investigations into high-profile figures accused of harassment, including Martin Timell, one of the country's best-known TV presenters, as well as high-profile journalist Fredrik Virtanen at the Aftonbladet newspaper.

On Thursday, the organizers of the November 24th – December 16th Christmas show “Jul för sjutton” issued a statement, saying Kronér was canceling his appearance due to the recent media attention surrounding his person.

The statement included an explanation from Kronér himself.

“Taking into account what has happened in the past few days, I want to take a time-out,” Kronér said. “I need to reflect and focus on the situation I have now involuntarily found myself in. It’s not an easy decision, but necessary for me, and to be able to give my music colleagues the space they need.”

At the end of October, a former intern with a Swedish broadcaster filed a police report, accusing Kronér of having sent her hundreds of explicit text messages in which he allegedly asked her if she wanted to have sex with him and if she wanted nude pictures of him. The woman, who was 22 at the time but who is now 28, notified the SVT management of the incidents and Kronér was then given a formal warning and apologized to the woman for his behaviour.

Kronér has rejected the woman’s description of the events, saying that the two even became a couple after they had finished working together.

“When we met about a year later we became a couple and had a relationship for about a year,” he was quoted as telling Swedish tabloid Expressen.

According to the woman, the two developed a friendship, which occasionally became “sexually destructive”, but she insists they were never a couple.