TikTok is accused of mishandling sexual harassment allegations against senior ... trends now
A former TikTok executive allegedly asked a female colleague to perform a sex act on him in his London office and said he wanted to 'rip her clothes off' but the social platform mishandled complaints, it was claimed today.
Steve Ware, head of TikTok's UK ecommerce studio operations until last year, is accused of making inappropriate advances to young female staff and even influencers behind key content for the video app.
Ware had resigned from TikTok in September 2022 before a probe into his alleged behaviour was over. He has told the Financial Times, who has seen messages they claim corroborate some of the claims, that all allegations against him are 'false'. MailOnline has asked TikTok for comment.
One worker, called Sarah, claims she was denied 'justice' by TikTok after allegedly being repeatedly propositioned by Ware. She said he twice inappropriately touched her, once tried to kiss her and also threatened to 'slap her a**e'.
Ware is said to have asked a woman for oral sex in an office and also told her he wanted to 'rip her clothes off', it is alleged, with the FT speaking to four women who worked with him at TikTok.
Two colleagues claimed Ware discussed the sexual act of 'teabagging' with young women at work - and had also allegedly asked them personal questions about their sex lives.
TikTok's office in Farringdon, London, where Steve Ware, head of TikTok's UK ecommerce studio operations worked until last year
Sarah said that her case was not properly investigated and she claims she lost her job as a result.
TikTok told the FT that their investigation found Ware had made inappropriate comments and that messages he sent had fallen short of its code of conduct on harassment.
But they claimed that Sarah and Ware were in a 'consensual romantic relationship', which Sarah denies.
A TikTok spokesman told the FT: 'As soon as this complaint was made, we launched a thorough investigation, including interviewing 10 different witnesses to determine facts. We are confident we took appropriate steps in response'.
Sarah says that after the investigation was over, her fixed-term employment contract was terminated with a month's notice.
She told the FT: 'They realised he had left, and it did not reflect badly on TikTok anymore. I was left waiting for six months without any outcome. I did not get any justice.
'I was scared of losing my job if I said something and [that is what happened] in the end'.
Mr Ware has deleted his LinkedIn account, but said in a post as he left TikTok: 'I stepped down from my role as Head of UK studio operations at TikTok after an extremely crazy year! Working to develop TikTok shop UK has been a huge privilege and learning curve within an industry that will continue to grow expediently.
'I am immensely proud of the team and I know they shall continue to be a pioneering department within TikTok shop for the months / years to come'.
Last year it emerged that TikTok's London staff were quitting or being sacked because of a culture clash with its Chinese owners who were accused of forcing them to work through the night and during holidays - or demoting them if they refused,