The #MeToo movement is set to rock CBS News and CEO Leslie Moonves as six women have now come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Other current and former employees of the company said there was a culture which permitted sexual misconduct spanning decades.
An upcoming piece by the New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow is set to detail some encounters and other people involved or aware of incidents.
NEW: Six women tell @RonanFarrow that Les Moonves sexually harassed them and retaliated against them. Ronan also reports that Moonves allowed a culture of harassment to thrive at CBS…known harassers were supported and promoted. https://t.co/ZhcUfEyuF8
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) July 27, 2018
Per the New Yorker:
For more than twenty years, Leslie Moonves has been one of the most powerful media executives in America. As the chairman and C.E.O. of CBS Corporation, he oversees shows ranging from “60 Minutes” to “The Big Bang Theory.” His portfolio includes the premium cable channel Showtime, the publishing house Simon & Schuster, and a streaming service, CBS All Access. Moonves, who is sixty-eight, has a reputation for canny hiring and project selection. The Wall Street Journal recently called him a “TV programming wizard”; the Hollywood Reporter dubbed him a “Wall Street Hero.” In the tumultuous field of network television, he has enjoyed rare longevity as a leader. Last year, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, he earned nearly seventy million dollars, making him one of the highest-paid corporate executives in the world.
The report mentions how Moonves has championed the #MeToo movement and even help set up the Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace.
“It’s a watershed moment,” Moonves reportedly said at a conference in November. “I think it’s important that a company’s culture will not allow for this. And that’s the thing that’s far-reaching. There’s a lot we’re learning. There’s a lot we didn’t know.”
But, it is now being reported Moonves was keeping secret sexual misconduct in his employment.
Here’s more from the New Yorker:
Moonves’s private actions belie his public statements. Six women who had professional dealings with him told me that, between the nineteen-eighties and the late aughts, Moonves sexually harassed them. Four described forcible touching or kissing during business meetings, in what they said appeared to be a practiced routine. Two told me that Moonves physically intimidated them or threatened to derail their careers. All said that he became cold or hostile after they rejected his advances, and that they believed their careers suffered as a result. “What happened to me was a sexual assault, and then I was fired for not participating,” the actress and writer Illeana Douglas told me. All the women said they still feared that speaking out would lead to retaliation from Moonves, who is known in the industry for his ability to make or break careers. “He has gotten away with it for decades,” the writer Janet Jones, who alleges that she had to shove Moonves off her after he forcibly kissed her at a work meeting, told me. “And it’s just not O.K.”
Thirty current and former employees of CBS told me that such behavior extended from Moonves to important parts of the corporation, including CBS News and “60 Minutes,” one of the network’s most esteemed programs. During Moonves’s tenure, men at CBS News who were accused of sexual misconduct were promoted, even as the company paid settlements to women with complaints.
The Daily Caller similarly reports the story and notes previous reports to out people in the network were killed:
According to a Daily Beast report on July 19, CBS had hired the aggressive law firm Clare Locke, which “effectively neutered” The Washington Post’s story about sexual misconduct allegations against former anchor Charlie Rose.
“If you read the tea leaves, [“60 Minutes” executive producer] Jeff Fager hiring a law firm that kills #MeToo stories … you knew something big was coming,” one media insider told TheDCNF. “[CBS] saying they are shocked is not exactly credible.”
“It’s pretty obvious going back to Charlie [Rose] that [CBS] had a problem and that problem exists at other networks too,” the insider added.
In response, Moonves said: “Throughout my time at CBS, we have promoted a culture of respect and opportunity for all employees, and have consistently found success elevating women to top executive positions across our company. I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely. But I always understood and respected—and abided by the principle—that ‘no’ means ‘no,’ and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone’s career. This is a time when we all are appropriately focused on how we help improve our society, and we at CBS are committed to being part of the solution.”