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Les Moonves

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  • Posted Monday 12/17/18 at 9:24PM EST Les Moonves' attorney slams severance decision: “The conclusions of the CBS board were foreordained and are without merit"
    Source: Deadline

    In what might be the opening shot in a legal war between Moonves and CBS, the former CBS boss' attorney denounced the CBS board's announcement that Moonves was fired for cause and won't be receiving his $120 million severance package. "Consistent with the pattern of leaks that have permeated this ‘process;, the press was informed of these baseless conclusions before Mr. Moonves, further damaging his name, reputation, career and legacy,” said attorney Andrew Levander, who added: “Mr. Moonves vehemently denies any non-consensual sexual relations and cooperated extensively and fully with investigators." Meanwhile, Gloria Allred is calling for an investigation into CBS' culture and for the network to make its report of Moonves public with the victims' names redacted.

    # TOPICS: Les Moonves, CBS, Sexual Misconduct

  • Posted Monday 12/17/18 at 5:07PM EST CBS denies Les Moonves his $120 million severance package, firing him for cause following sexual misconduct probe
    Source: Variety

    “We have determined that there are grounds to terminate for cause, including his willful and material misfeasance, violation of Company policies and breach of his employment contract, as well as his willful failure to cooperate fully with the Company’s investigation. Mr. Moonves will not receive any severance payment from the Company,” CBS' board said in a statement Monday. The decision was reached following a five-month independent investigation into a slew of sexual misconduct allegations against Moonves.

    # TOPICS: Les Moonves, CBS, Sexual Misconduct

  • Posted Monday 12/17/18 at 5:07PM EST CBS' five-month investigation concludes "harassment and retaliation are not pervasive" at the network
    Source: The Hollywood Reporter

    "However," CBS' board said in a statement denying former CEO Les Moonves' severance, "the investigators learned of past incidents of improper and unprofessional conduct, and concluded that the Company’s historical policies, practices and structures have not reflected a high institutional priority on preventing harassment and retaliation. The investigation determined that the resources devoted to the Company’s Human Resources function, to training and development, and to diversity and inclusion initiatives have been inadequate, given the size and complexity of CBS’ businesses. Employees also cited past incidents in which HR and the Company did not hold high performers accountable for their conduct and protect employees from retaliation."

    # TOPICS: Les Moonves, CBS, Sexual Misconduct

  • Posted Saturday 12/15/18 at 12:22AM EST Report: Les Moonves personally oversaw CBS' $9.5 million settlement with Eliza Dushku -- payout was "sneaked" into Bull's production budget
    Source: Deadline

    Deadline reports the former CBS boss "was deeply and directly involved in the $9.5 million payout that CBS forked over to Eliza Dushku in January after the actor accused Bull lead, Michael Weatherly, of sexual harassment on the first season of the CBS drama...Additionally, the confidential payment was sneaked into Bull’s production budget in an effort apparently motivated to avoid the sum popping up on the company’s books, sources say."

    # TOPICS: Eliza Dushku, CBS, Bull, Les Moonves, Michael Weatherly, Sexual Misconduct

  • Posted Friday 12/14/18 at 5:45PM EST CBS' toxic culture can be seen in the "boys-will-be-boys" stories it tells
    Source: Vulture

    Michael Weatherly, whom Eliza Dushku accused of sexual harassment on Bull that led to a $9.5 million settlement, plays the "the kind of seemingly innocuous, boys-will-be-boys male protagonist who has filled CBS’s airwaves for years," says Kathryn VanArendonk, pointing to other male protagonists on procedurals as CSI and NCIS and their spinoffs. She adds: "There have been exceptions on CBS’s schedule — shows like The Good Wife and Madam Secretary are about prominent women in positions of power — but the common feature of so many of CBS’s most successful dramas, the ones that have spun off multi-city franchises and run for dozens of years and are watched by millions of people each week, is pretty basic: A man has power, and he wields it for his own ends." As VanArendonk points out, it's not hard to make a connection "between this rule of thumb for so many of CBS’s dramas, and who decides what shows get on the air every TV season ... The stories CBS puts out into the world are the ones that reflect the interests of the people who make them, and what results is a self-perpetuating cycle. When we as CBS viewers watch stories that valorize male ego and male judgment, we’re bathed in a TV landscape that teaches us that men who have power are the default. So when men like Les Moonves, Brad Kern, and Michael Weatherly harass and abuse the women around them, their entitlement to hold positions of power appears normal in the context of the shows they make. They are entitled to that power, and that entitlement is confirmed and echoed by what we watch on TV, night after night. Occasionally, as often happens on Bull, what we’re seeing is borderline harassment that’s excused as romance, as (Jason) Bull’s professional relationships with women regularly trip over into sexual conquest. But more pervasively, what we watch on long-running CBS franchises is the repeated reiteration of who matters: Men in power are protagonists, and women are disposable."

    # TOPICS: Michael Weatherly, CBS, Bull, CSI, Eliza Dushku, Les Moonves, Sexual Misconduct

  • Posted Friday 12/14/18 at 5:45PM EST CBS names 18 anti-harassment groups that will share $20 million from Les Moonves' severance
    Source: Variety

    “These organizations represent different critical approaches to combatting sexual harassment, including efforts to change culture and improve gender equity in the workplace, train and educate employees, and provide victims with services and support," CBS said in a statement. The money comes from severance that was originally earmarked for Moonves.

    # TOPICS: Les Moonves, CBS, Sexual Misconduct

  • Posted Thursday 12/13/18 at 1:17PM EST Cybill Shepherd: CBS canceled my 1990s sitcom Cybill after I rejected Les Moonves' advances
    Source: The Hollywood Reporter

    Cybill, starring Shepherd and Christine Baranski, ran for four seasons on CBS from 1995 through 1998, when it abruptly ended on a cliffhanger with the words "To be continued..." Shepherd revealed this morning in an interview with Sirius XM's The Michelle Collins Show that Moonves came on to her while they were at dinner in the 1990s. "He was, well, he was telling me his wife didn't turn him on, some mistress didn't turn him on," Shepherd explained, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "And ... he says, 'Well, you know, why don't you let me take you home?' I said, 'No, I've got a ride.' And I had my car outside with a good friend of mine who is an off-duty LAPD officer." Shepherd said her show was canceled "quite shortly afterward." Shepherd thinks had she had gone home with him, Cybill "would have run another five years."

    # TOPICS: Les Moonves, CBS, Cybill, Cybill Shepherd

  • Posted Friday 12/07/18 at 10:10PM EST Les Moonves is reportedly threatening to sue over the leaks about CBS' sexual misconduct probe
    Source: New York Post

    A source tells Page Six that The New York Times' publication this week of allegations from a 59-page draft report of CBS' independent investigation -- claiming Moonves received "transactional" and "on call" oral sex from CBS employees -- may open the door for him to "challenge the process legally."

    # TOPICS: Les Moonves, CBS, Legal, Sexual Misconduct

  • Posted Thursday 12/06/18 at 8:43PM EST Report: CBS still pays ex-employee who alleged 60 Minutes creator Don Hewitt sexually assaulted her
    Source: The New York Times

    The New York Times has released a new bombshell report on sexual misconduct at 60 Minutes, finding that CBS continues paying out a settlement through 2018 -- totaling more than $5 million -- to a former CBS employee who accused the legendary 60 Minutes founder of repeatedly sexually assaulting her in the 1990s. Hewitt launched 60 Minutes in 1968 and served as its powerful executive producer through 2004. He died in 2009 at age 86. The revelation comes in a 59-page draft report that independent investigators are expected to present to the CBS board next week. "Investigators revealed that CBS continues to pay out a settlement to a woman who claimed that Mr. Hewitt sexually assaulted her on repeated occasions and destroyed her career," reports The Times. "The settlement, reached in the 1990s, has been amended multiple times, including this year. In total, CBS has agreed to pay the former employee more than $5 million." The draft report, according to The Times, also found that Hewitt's successor, Jeff Fager -- whom CBS fired in September for threatening a CBS News reporter looking into allegations about his behavior -- “engaged in certain acts of sexual misconduct” with colleagues and failed to stop misbehavior by others. The draft report accuses Fager of groping one employee and trying to kiss another with an open mouth. The report also learned that Fager instructed a female employee to drive him and other producers to a legal brothel while reporting a story in Nevada. “This is the first I am hearing some of these allegations about my personal conduct,” Fager wrote in an email to The Times. “I’m surprised and devastated to hear them from The New York Times since I was not given the opportunity by CBS investigators to respond to their accuracy.” The Times also says the report found that 60 Minutes' famous independence from the rest of CBS News "came at a cost: The show proved unable to prevent inappropriate conduct by some of its top executives."

    # TOPICS: 60 Minutes, CBS, Don Hewitt, Jeff Fager, Les Moonves, CBS News, Sexual Misconduct

  • Posted Wednesday 12/05/18 at 10:56PM EST Can CBS really escape Les Moonves' shadow when it was made in its own image?
    Source: The Atlantic

    New details from a 59-page draft report on the former CBS chief's alleged sexual misconduct are damning, says Megan Garber. "Les Moonves will, as one result of the CBS investigation and its findings, very likely leave the network with no severance," she says. "His reputation will very likely never recover. CBS, which was initially so slow to act on the allegations against its leader and against its own culture, will very likely present this outcome as a victory: for #MeToo, for justice, for morality itself. The bad apple removed. The problem solved. But cultures are not easily changed. Broken systems do not simply un-break themselves. Moonves made CBS in his own image; that means a true reckoning with his behavior—and with that of the network that empowered him—will require much more than a firing enacted and a severance withheld. Bad apples, after all, have their own kind of seeds."

    # TOPICS: Les Moonves, CBS, Sexual Misconduct

  • Posted Tuesday 12/04/18 at 8:48PM EST Les Moonves accused of obstructing misconduct investigation -- report finds CBS employees performed "transactional" oral sex on him
    Source: The New York Times

    The New York Times reviewed a 59-page draft version of the independent investigation the CBS board ordered over the former CBS CEO's alleged misconduct. The report, which will be presented to the board next week, recommends that CBS should deny Moonves his $120 million severance package. The report found that “Moonves received oral sex from at least 4 CBS employees under circumstances that sound transactional and improper to the extent that there was no hint of any relationship, romance, or reciprocity.” Additionally, investigators were told by multiple people that CBS had an employee “who was ‘on call’ to perform oral sex” on Moonves. “A number of employees were aware of this and believed that the woman was protected from discipline or termination as a result of it," according to the report. The investigation also found that a board member, before joining the CBS board, knew about an instance of Moonves allegedly sexually assaulting his doctor. Investigators also interviewed 11 of the 17 women who accused Moonves of sexual misconduct, and found their accounts to be credible. According to The Times, the report found Moonves “engaged in multiple acts of serious nonconsensual sexual misconduct in and outside of the workplace, both before and after he came to CBS in 1995." Investigators spoke to Moonves four times and found him “evasive and untruthful at times and to have deliberately lied about and minimized the extent of his sexual misconduct.”

    # TOPICS: Les Moonves, CBS, Sexual Misconduct

  • Posted Wednesday 11/28/18 at 8:50PM EST Actress alleges Les Moonves sexually assaulted her and offered her a $1,500 acting gig to keep quiet
    Source: The New York Times

    Bolstered by hundreds of text messages, The New York Times reports on a new allegation that could sink Moonves' $120 million CBS exit package. Actress Bobbie Phillips alleges that in 1995, when Moonves was president of Warner Bros. Television, he sexually assaulted her. According to The Times, Moonves "allegedly grabbed her by the neck, pushed her to her knees and forced his penis into her mouth" during a meeting in his office. Phillips told her agent, Marv Dauer, about the incident soon afterwards. In November 2017, amid the #MeToo movement, Dauer received a call from a Times reporter asking about Moonves and sexual misconduct. "He immediately thought of Bobbie Phillips," The Times reports. That led to Dauer connecting with Moonves. "Mr. Dauer and Mr. Moonves have given different accounts of the conversation, but they agree on one crucial point: They discussed the possibility of getting Ms. Phillips an acting gig to keep her happy," reports The Times. Dauer recalls Moonves saying in a sworn statement that "if Bobbie talks, I’m done.” The Times also reports that there was a "monthslong cascade of hundreds of text messages" about giving Phillips and Dauer's other clients jobs. One role, which Phillips turned down was for a guest spot on Blood and Treasure that paid $1,500 for a day's shooting. The Times reports that "upon learning that Mr. Moonves had tried to find a job for an accuser, the CBS board held an emergency meeting with their lawyers. The focus was on Mr. Moonves’s relationship with Mr. Dauer. Until that point, the lawyers had recommended keeping Mr. Moonves as C.E.O. Now their view was shifting." Weeks later, upon further investigation, Moonves was ousted from CBS.

    # TOPICS: Les Moonves, CBS, Bobbie Phillips, Marv Dauer, Sexual Misconduct

  • Posted Thursday 11/15/18 at 1:35PM EST Sharon Osbourne: The Talk co-hosts would discuss Les Moonves' bad breath, but never when Julie Chen was around
    Source: HuffPost

    “I think he had bad breath, if I remember," Osbourne said on SiriusXM's Jim Norton & Sam Roberts show. "You could smell him coming. I think he had a bit of gingivitis ... Oh yeah.”

    # TOPICS: Les Moonves, CBS, The Talk, Julie Chen, Sharon Osbourne, Daytime TV

  • Posted Friday 11/02/18 at 9:56AM EDT Les Moonves tells TMZ "I'm retired"
    Source: TMZ

    TMZ, which would frequently get Moonves and Julie Chen to chat outside restaurants before his sexual harassment downfall, caught up with them outside Madeo in Beverly Hills. While Chen said she was "not interested" in talking, Moonves told the cameraman he's not looking for another job.

    # TOPICS: Les Moonves, TMZ, Julie Chen, Sexual Misconduct

  • Posted Thursday 10/18/18 at 5:51PM EDT Showtime's David Nevins promoted to chief creative officer of CBS Corp.
    Source: TVLine

    In another sign that the Les Moonves era is over, Showtime president and CEO Nevins will oversee CBS Entertainment, CBS All Access, CBS Television Studios, The CW while continuing to helm Showtime. Nevins will remain as president and CEO of Showtime while adding the title of chairman of Showtime Networks.

    # TOPICS: David Nevins, CBS, CBS All Access, The CW, Showtime, Les Moonves, CBS Television Studios

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