MOSCOW — Numerous Russian news media outlets vowed on Thursday to curtail their coverage of the State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament, a day after its ethics commission exonerated a lawmaker accused of sexual harassment by several female journalists.
Some two dozen publications have declared a boycott of the 14-member commission and of the lawmaker, Leonid E. Slutsky, a member from the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, a right-wing nationalist group, who is the chairman of the international affairs committee. Some organizations said they were stopping all professional interaction with Mr. Slutsky, while others like the popular Ekho Moskvy radio station announced a broader ban, withdrawing reporters from the Duma altogether.
“Ekho Moskvy considers the State Duma an unsafe work location for journalists of both sexes,” said Aleksei A. Venediktov, the station’s editor in chief. The Parliament is widely viewed as a rubber stamp for the Kremlin, and its members rank among the least popular public officials in Russia.
The boycott was the first broadly public action to focus attention on sexual harassment since the #MeToo movement erupted in the West. While the stories of harassment resonated with some Russian women and men, the broader public response was yet another condemnation of the West, which is portrayed as so in the thrall of liberal values that men and women can no longer play their natural roles.
In 2016 there was a brief national public discussion when hundreds of women began posting firsthand accounts of sexual abuse and harassment on Facebook under the hashtag “I’m not afraid of saying.” But that quickly died out.
The first accusations against Mr. Slutsky emerged last month in an article on the website of TV Rain, a small, independent broadcaster, which quoted two unidentified female journalists. In one instance cited in the article, the lawmaker reportedly placed the inner part of his palm against a reporter’s crotch. Later in February, RTVI’s deputy chief editor, Ekaterina Kotrikadze, went public with accusations against Mr. Slutsky, as did two other female journalists.
Mr. Slutsky denied all the accusations and turned to Facebook to mock his accusers, proposing that he and other lawmakers divide them up and take care of them. He and some of his fellow lawmakers, including the speaker of the Duma, Vyacheslav V. Volodin, suggested that the accusations were part of an anti-Russian campaign on the eve of the Russian presidential election.
“Attempts to make a Russian Harvey Weinstein of Slutsky look very much like a cheap, shoddy provocation,” Mr. Slutsky wrote on Facebook, suggesting that the complaints would go nowhere.
However, at least one member of Parliament, Oksana V. Pushkina, sided with the journalists. She pledged to submit an amendment to Russian law to provide a legal framework for prosecution of sexual harassment, which it currently lacks.
On Wednesday, the Parliament’s ethics commission took up the case, sifting through evidence that included the transcript of a conversation in which Mr. Slutsky suggested to a reporter from the Russian-language service of the BBC that she could become his mistress.
The ethics panel ruled the same day as the hearing that it had not observed “any breaches in the standards of conduct” by Mr. Slutsky. The chairman of the commission, Otari I. Arshba, hinted that the journalists seemed to have plotted together, and that some waited too long after the incident — several years — before coming forward.
Some reporters took to Twitter to mock the report, suggesting that the very problem was that the Duma did not consider Mr. Slutsky’s actions to be out of the ordinary.
On Thursday, after the various news organizations announced that they would not interact with Mr. Slutsky, some of their reporters were not allowed into the building at all.
Dmitri S. Peskov, the spokesman for President Vladimir V. Putin, declined to comment on the issue.