Les MoonvesLatest News and Opinion
Posted Saturday 10/13/18 at 3:11AM EDT
TV has built a world where white males are the protagonists of the story, from CBS crime procedurals to antihero dramas
The fall of Les Moonves and the recent premiere of Lifetime's You -- which attempts to subvert the white male viewpoint -- have helped to hammer home the point that a lot of television has been told from the white male point of view. "Straight white men in America are taught that they are the protagonist of the story from birth. Their number includes me — I’ve always intuitively understood myself as the protagonist too," says Todd VanDerWerff. "And this mindset has only become more ingrained in the past 20 years. Under Moonves, CBS became America’s most powerful network, but also went from broadcasting shows like Murphy Brown and Designing Women to mostly being a place where women were corpses, whose murders were solved largely by steely, determined men, with occasional help from quippy female sidekicks." VanDerWerff adds that "over the past 20 years, no network has had a worse record of telling stories centered on characters who aren’t straight white men than CBS, a trend the network has only finally broken this fall. What does it say about a culture when by far its most popular television network is dominated by shows where women serve primarily as support systems, quirky comic relief, and victims?" Antihero shows like Mad Men, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad and The Shield have also helped fuel the narrative that white males can take whatever they want. "The best antihero dramas of the early 2000s, like the best great films of the ’70s, were cautionary tales, deeply moral stories about how, in some ways, the men at the center of them stood in for an America — or at least a white male America — that couldn’t stop gobbling up everything it saw," says VanDerWerff. "The shows suggested, always, that even if their protagonists didn’t get their comeuppance onscreen, it was coming, unless they could change their ways. Only a handful of those protagonists, most notably Mad Men’s Don Draper, eventually came close to doing so. But even now, these shows leave open the question of just how we’re supposed to grapple with the idea that many viewers will always see them as instruction manuals, or as validation of dangerous ideals. What are the takeaways for an audience that doesn’t want to dig into the moral and ethical nuance of The Sopranos and just wants to see Tony whack more enemies, or that believes Skyler White is the true villain of Breaking Bad?"
Posted Wednesday 10/03/18 at 9:05PM EDT
CBS executive Vinnie Favale, who was Les Moonves' liaison to The Late Show, placed on leave for allegedly using sexual and homophobic language in the workplace
An anonymous female former CBS executive tells CNN of Favale's alleged comments, "I'll never forget the day he told me he got four erections while watching Jennifer Hudson rehearse" for Colbert's Late Show in December 2015. The unnamed woman says she felt she faced retaliation after reporting Favale's remark and other comments she deemed offensive. Favale is famous for his Howard Stern appearances and for his David Letterman cameos. As CBS’ longtime East Coast late-night executive, he oversaw The Late Show with David Letterman, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and CBS' The Howard Stern Show, which aired on Saturdays from 1998 to 2001. Last year, Favale was promoted to CBS' senior vice president of talent development. CNN spoke with nine current and former CBS employees "These individuals described instances in Late Show meetings and rehearsals, between 2015 and 2018, where Favale used sexual innuendo, made homophobic comments and allegedly said derogatory remarks about the appearances of female guests," CNN reports. Favale, who was placed on administrative leave on Wednesday, said in a statement: "Allegations that I have ever retaliated against anyone in any fashion are 100% false. I have spent my entire career working at comedy shows, where there has always been a wide latitude to make transgressive jokes while preparing the program. While we make a lot of jokes, these jokes attributed to me, whether said in rehearsals or production meetings, are being taken out of context and were not said in the way being presented here."
Posted Tuesday 10/02/18 at 2:47PM EDT
Illeana Douglas details her Les Moonves sexual misconduct allegations on The View
Douglas described an encounter with the then-CBS boss in his office while she was cast on the CBS sitcom Queens. "He started asking me a lot of personal questions and I was stumbling and fumbling and not really knowing what to say,” Douglas told The View co-hosts. “And that, of course, led to him, you know, jumping on top of me and putting his tongue down my throat and pinning me down on the couch.” Douglas said she didn't report Moonves because she thought of him "as a father figure." She was soon fired from the show for "poor performance."
Posted Friday 9/28/18 at 11:40PM EDT
CBS is facing probes from New York City and the state of New York over Les Moonves scandal
The New York District Attorney’s office and the city’s Commission on Human Rights have filed subpoenas related to CBS' workplace culture following the sexual misconduct allegations against the former CBS boss.
Posted Thursday 9/20/18 at 4:08PM EDT
Why CBS might still end up paying Les Moonves $120 million in severance
Source: The New York Times
"Whether he collects the $120 million severance payment will come down to a seemingly simple question: Was he fired for 'cause'?" explains James B. Stewart. "For most people, the allegations against Mr. Moonves would be more than enough cause. But in the strange world of chief executive contracts, they may not be. Mr. Moonves’s most recent contract, which he signed last year, stipulates that cause for being fired includes a felony conviction, fraud, failing to cooperate fully in a company investigation and violation of any company policies, including those concerning sexual harassment. Mere allegations of sexual misconduct, which now have been made publicly against Mr. Moonves by 12 women, do not constitute cause. Nor is it likely that behavior that occurred before he joined CBS could be considered a violation of any company policy."
Posted Thursday 9/20/18 at 1:16PM EDT
Hollywood most powerful list boots Les Moonves, replaces him with Ronan Farrow
The ousted CBS boss was not only featured in the Hollywood Reporter's THR 100, an annual ranking of the most powerful people in the entertainment industry, but he made the Top 10 in the list completed before Moonves lost his job. So the magazine to boot him at the last minute, deciding that Farrow would be the perfect replacement.
Posted Wednesday 9/19/18 at 10:06PM EDT
The View wished Julie Chen well after her exit from The Talk, while Wendy Williams questioned her tears
Source: E! Online
Daytime TV had a range of responses to Chen's exit from The Talk. "I think it would be hard to be on that show and if you couldn't share so I sorta understood," Hoda Kotb said on Today. "She'll be missed on that show," Gayle King, Chen's colleague, said on CBS This Morning. On The View, Whoopi Goldberg wished Chen well, while Abby Huntsman said: "What I would love for her to do is to use that as an opportunity to be transparent, to be real, to talk to people about what maybe she's been through." Kathie Lee Gifford expressed sympathy for Chen on the 10am. Today show. "It always bugs me when they say the humiliated so-and-so. I'm capable of humiliating myself…She's not humiliated," said Gifford. "She's heartbroken. There's a big difference. You know what I'm saying?" Meanwhile, Wendy Williams questioned Chen's teary goodbye: "It's nice to know she watches 'Hot Topics,' where I said she should quit because she is a distraction," Wendy said. "She ended up crying towards the end but in my mind, those weren't tears because of the crew. In my opinion, she wasn't crying because of the cast and the crew and the staff and stuff. She was crying because now she has to go back to that compound and deal with that man and try to keep her son out of it. And there is no compound to me that is big enough." ALSO: Chen taped tonight's Big Brother episode on Tuesday, the same day she announced her Talk departure.
Posted Wednesday 9/19/18 at 2:34PM EDT
Julie Chen introduces tonight's Big Brother episode as "Julie Chen Moonves"
TMZ reports Chen again used the "Moonves" surname on tonight's pre-taped episode, using it for the first time in introducing herself. Last Thursday, she used it only to sign off from the show.
Posted Wednesday 9/19/18 at 10:16AM EDT
Report: Julie Chen is expected to stay with Big Brother, CBS didn't pressure her to exit The Talk
According to TMZ, CBS doesn't want to punish Chen for husband Les Moonves' actions.
Posted Tuesday 9/18/18 at 3:13PM EDT
Julie Chen officially announces her exit from The Talk in an emotional pre-taped message
CBS waited until the final minutes of Tuesday's episode of The Talk to show Chen's tearful video message announcing she's leaving the show to spend time with her young son and her husband Les Moonves following his firing from CBS. “I have been at The Talk since the day it started nine years ago, and the cast, crew and staff have become family to me over the years," said Chen. "But right now, I need to spend more time at home with my husband and our young son. So I’ve decided to leave The Talk. I want to thank everyone at the show for our wonderful years together. I will always, always cherish the memories we shared. Most important, I want to thank you, the viewers, for allowing me into your home every day. It was a privilege that I will forever be grateful for. To everyone behind the scenes… I send you my love. I will miss you all very, very much.” CBS issued a statement thanking Chen for her work on The Talk: "All of us here have tremendous appreciation for the dedication and passion she brought to the show every day and for her generous role as an ambassador for CBS Daytime. We are grateful for her many other contributions, respect her decision and wish Julie all the best in everything she does."
Posted Tuesday 9/18/18 at 3:13PM EDT
Les Moonves is getting to keep some of his executive trappings that he had as CBS CEO
Judd Apatow raised concerns that Moonves is keeping his executive perks, including his CBS offices and private plane. According to Deadline, Moonves' separation agreement, in addition to allowing him to remain as an advisor to the company, calls for CBS to provide security services and office space for him. However, he's had to give up access to CBS' corporate jet.
Posted Tuesday 9/18/18 at 8:17AM EDT
#MeToo movement was glaringly missing at the Emmy Awards
Source: The New York Times
The #MeToo and Time's Up movements that were a big part of the Golden Globes and Oscars ceremonies earlier this year were almost completely missing at Monday's Emmy ceremony. "Unlike at previous awards shows this year, emblems of the movement weren’t pinned to lapels or sequined gowns. #MeToo was mostly absent from acceptance speeches and even from the monologue — except for fleeting jokes by the hosts, Michael Che and Colin Jost," says Maya Salem. Even Les Moonves went unmentioned, while the words "Time's Up" were only mentioned once, by The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's Amy Sherman-Palladino. ALSO: Les Moonves was to network television what Harvey Weinstein was to independent film, so why wasn't he brought up?
Posted Tuesday 9/18/18 at 8:17AM EDT
Julie Chen is expected to announce her exit from The Talk Tuesday via a videotaped message
"She has decided that her main focus needs to be clearing her husband's name from accusations made 25-30 years ago and tending to her son," a source tells CNN. Chen, who has co-hosted The Talk since its 2010 launch, is expected to announce she's leaving, effective immediately, via a videotapped message on today's episode of The Talk. CNN also reports that Chen is expected to stay as host of Big Brother.
Posted Monday 9/17/18 at 4:43PM EDT
Les Moonves not invited to the Emmys
CBS says its former CEO not attending is a "non-issue" since he's not been at the Emmys for years.
Posted Friday 9/14/18 at 11:17PM EDT
Illeana Douglas recounts Les Moonves' alleged sexual harassment, calls Ronan Farrow "the patron saint of actresses"
Douglas spoke to New Yorker editor David Remnick on The New Yorker Radio Hour about Moonves alleged sexual misconduct, the drinking of the CBS "Kool-Aid" and the "terror" she felt. “There is a deep seated history of misogyny at CBS,” Douglas said. “In my opinion, what would be really impressive is that the new head of CBS says, ‘I’m going to turn the page on this and I am not going to let an environment happen where women go to work and don’t feel safe.’ … An executive who has the courage to say, ‘I am going to make a stand and I am not going to tolerate this kind of behavior.'”