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Sexual Misconduct

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  • Posted Thursday 12/13/18 at 8:23PM EST CBS paid Eliza Dushku $9.5 million after she accused Bull's Michael Weatherly of sexual harassment
    Source: The New York Times

    The former Buffy the Vampire Slayer star made headlines last year when she joined the CBS drama for a three-episode arc that was poised to become a series regular role. "Then," according to The New York Times, "came a series of comments that made Ms. Dushku uncomfortable. In front of the cast and crew, Mr. Weatherly remarked on her appearance, and made a rape joke and a comment about a threesome. Shortly after Ms. Dushku confronted the star about his behavior, she was written off the show. She believed her time on Bull came to a sudden end as a result of retaliation. After she went through mediation with CBS, the network agreed to a confidential settlement that would pay her $9.5 million, roughly the equivalent of what Ms. Dushku would have earned if she had stayed on as a cast member for four seasons." The Times says details of Dushku's confidential settlement emerged from  the independent investigation into sexual misconduct at CBS. Dushku declined to comment to The Times, but CBS confirmed the settlement, saying in a statement: “The allegations in Ms. Dushku’s claims are an example that, while we remain committed to a culture defined by a safe, inclusive and respectful workplace, our work is far from done. The settlement of these claims reflects the projected amount that Ms. Dushku would have received for the balance of her contract as a series regular, and was determined in a mutually agreed upon mediation process at the time.” The CBS investigation found there were "well developed plans" to make Dushku a series regular. The Times reports that "the investigation’s findings show how Ms. Dushku sought to address conduct she found demeaning, why she believed she faced retaliation and how a top CBS lawyer tried to undermine her claims with what investigators described as an 'antiquated' view of how a woman should comport herself in the workplace." Days after she confronted Weatherly and producers, Dushku was written off the show. Weatherly denies he tried to get her fired and showrunner Glenn Gordon Caron said her being written off had nothing to do with her complaints. The actress then entered mediation, rather than file a lawsuit. When CBS tried to show outtakes to bolster its side, the footage actually provided a "gold mine" for Dushku's lawyers because the harassment was caught on tape. The $9.5 million settlement was reached in January amid the #MeToo movement. In an email statement, Weatherly said he apologized to Dushku. “When Eliza told me that she wasn’t comfortable with my language and attempt at humor, I was mortified to have offended her and immediately apologized," he wrote. "After reflecting on this further, I better understand that what I said was both not funny and not appropriate and I am sorry and regret the pain this caused Eliza.”

    # TOPICS: Bull, CBS, Eliza Dushku, Glenn Gordon Caron, Michael Weatherly, Sexual Misconduct

  • Posted Wednesday 12/12/18 at 4:39PM EST Thomas Ravenel's former nanny is suing him, Southern Charm producers, Bravo and NBC Universal over her sexual assault allegations
    Source: Page Six

    Dawn Ledwell alletges that Southern Charm production company Haymaker is responsible for what happened to her since she reported her alleged assault to one of its employees. According to Page Six, Ledwell filed a civil suit last Friday for "assault and battery, outrage/intention infliction of emotional distress, civil conspiracy, defamation and negligence."

    # TOPICS: Thomas Ravenel, Bravo, Southern Charm, Dawn Ledwell, Legal, Reality TV, Sexual Misconduct

  • Posted Tuesday 12/11/18 at 10:14PM EST CBS News settles with three women who accused Charlie Rose of sexual misconduct
    Source: Los Angeles Times

    The lawsuit filed in May by former CBS News staffers Sydney McNeal, Katherine Brooks Harris and Chelsea Wei alleged “that CBS management, numerous broadcasters and studio staff witnessed Mr. Rose’s unlawful conduct” and failed to take any action to correct it. A CBS News representative tells the Los Angeles Times that the network has paid out a confidential settlement.

    # TOPICS: Charlie Rose, CBS News, Legal, Sexual Misconduct

  • Posted Monday 12/10/18 at 3:21PM EST Report: Mario Batali still profits from his restaurants one year after his sexual misconduct scandal
    Source: Eater

    The former Food Network star said earlier this year he would divest from his restaurants and allow his partners to buy him out following his sexual misconduct scandal. But a Grubstreet report found that Batali's financial ties are still intact, even as his restaurant business B&B Hospitality has seen a 30% drop in profits.

    # TOPICS: Mario Batali, Sexual Misconduct

  • 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 Friday 12/07/18 at 10:10PM EST Should Deal or No Deal still have briefcase models in the #MeToo era?
    Source: The New York Times

    The Howie Mandel-hosted game show returned this week on CNBC after a nearly 10-year hiatus. But is Deal or No Deal out of step with the times? "In 2018, as the culture continues to grapple with the way women have been disregarded and sometimes abused by Hollywood and its machers, Deal and shows like it raise an awkward question: Is this a convention whose time is up?" asks Lara Zarum. "Series like Deal encapsulate the paradox of the modern game-show modeling gig: On one hand, it offers a stiletto-heeled foot in the door for many young women who aspire to careers in entertainment — Meghan Markle and Chrissy Teigen, among others, got their starts on Deal or No Deal. Vanna White, who has been turning letters on Wheel of Fortune since 1983, has shaped that gig into a long, multifaceted career...On the other hand, it is unclear whether those advantages are worth the broader message it may communicate in the wake of #MeToo."

    # TOPICS: Deal or No Deal, CNBC, Howie Mandel, Game Shows, 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 Thursday 12/06/18 at 8:43PM EST Why Lena Dunham's "apology" to Aurora Perrineau isn't an apology
    Source: Twitter

    Dunham's apology in The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday to Perrineau for defending Girls writer Murray Miller after Perrineau accused him of sexual assault was her "worst apology yet," says Heidi Stevens. "A year ago, Dunham lied in order to discredit a woman who had just gone to the police to report a sexual assault," says Stevens. "On Wednesday, she penned a rambling, pretentious opus about women in Hollywood ('Heroines have emerged. We are cracking open windows and beating down doors. The air is circulating and the light is pouring in,') and sneaked a whiny, halfhearted mea culpa into the ninth paragraph. We’re so used to Dunham apologizing at this point (Lena Dunham Apologizes is an actual Twitter handle) that we went ahead and lumped this garbage onto her giant apology pile."

    # TOPICS: Lena Dunham, HBO, Girls, Aurora Perrineau, Murray Miller, Sexual Misconduct

  • Posted Wednesday 12/05/18 at 10:56PM EST A fourth woman is accusing Neil deGrasse Tyson of sexual misconduct
    Source: BuzzFeed News

    BuzzFeed News has released a comprehensive report on the star astrophysicist's alleged sexual misconduct that it had been in the works for three years, utilizing interviews with more than 30 people. It includes the two most recent allegations that came to light last Friday and an old allegation of rape from the 1980s. "Now a fourth woman has told BuzzFeed News her experience of sexual harassment from Tyson," reports Buzzfeed News' Azeen Ghorayshi. "In January 2010, she recalled, she joined her then-boyfriend at a holiday party for employees of the American Museum of Natural History. Tyson, its most famous employee, drunkenly approached her, she said, making sexual jokes and propositioning her to join him alone in his office. In a 2014 email shared with BuzzFeed News, she described the incident to her own employer in order to shoot down a proposed collaboration with Tyson."

    # TOPICS: Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Cosmos, Cosmos: Possible Worlds, 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 Wednesday 12/05/18 at 5:37PM EST Louis CK's heckler: "He looked shell shocked" when I told him "get your d*ck out"
    Source: The Cut

    Klaire Randall just happened to be sitting in the audience with her boyfriend Sunday night at the Comedy Cellar when Louis CK took the stage. "The first thing I thought when they announced Louis’s name was was that it had to be a joke," Randall tells The Cut. "I was pissed off. I looked at my boyfriend and we had this moment of can we get up and leave right now, or do we sit through it and give this guy a chance? I had read the articles about C.K. and I’d read his apology but I hadn’t done a deep dive on it. I just knew it generally all seemed skeezy, and that it’s wrong for anyone who uses their power to make women feel uncomfortable." Randall says when she shouted at CK, "he looked shell-shocked. He looked directly at me, full eye contact and said ‘WHAT!?’ I repeat myself like, 'get your f*cking d*ck out.' At that point, the crowd was jeering, there were a few boos coming from a few people. And before I knew it, a Cellar staff member came over at our table and put a hand on my boyfriend’s shoulder. He said 'you can’t heckle the comedians,' and motioned toward the door. We already wanted to leave, so were happy to stand up and walk out on our own." Randall says she doesn't regret calling him out: "All I could think at the time was that I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if I had this opportunity to publicly call out an abuser to his face and I just quietly sat there," she says. "I was just thinking about every woman I know who has been sexually assaulted, sexually harassed or bullied in some way or another." ALSO: Randall says her Comedy Cellar exit "was not a forceful getting-kicked-out, but it was heavily implied."

    # TOPICS: Louis CK, Sexual Misconduct, Stand-Up Comedy

  • Posted Wednesday 12/05/18 at 1:45PM EST Lena Dunham apologizes to Aurora Perrineau for dismissing her sexual assault allegation against Girls writer Murray Miller
    Source: The Hollywood Reporter

    "I made a terrible mistake," Dunham, who is guest-editing The Hollywood Reporter, wrote in an editor's note reflecting on the uproar last year over her defense of Miller that she quickly apologized for. "When someone I knew, someone I had loved as a brother, was accused, I did something inexcusable: I publicly spoke up in his defense." She adds: "To Aurora: You have been on my mind and in my heart every day this year. I love you. I will always love you. I will always work to right that wrong. In that way, you have made me a better woman and a better feminist."

    # TOPICS: Lena Dunham, Girls, Aurora Perrineau, Murray Miller, 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 Tuesday 12/04/18 at 8:48PM EST Why Neil deGrasse Tyson's response to sexual misconduct allegations is self-defeating
    Source: Slate

    "One thing that struck me while reading his note is that he confirms doing many of the more minor things the women bring up, but he denies that any of them were harmful," says Shannon Palus. "He paints himself as a bumbly nerd who is just here to talk about planets and go on adventures, not one of the most powerful men in physics and a behemoth in entertainment alike. Ultimately, he sees his interactions with other women as a sort of word problem that can be cleared up via an investigation—if someone could just do the math, we’d certainly be able to figure out the rational, hard truth." Palus adds: "He doesn’t attempt to understand that existing in the world as a woman involves a lot of this kind of groping and touching, that in some cases a grab of the arm can be a signal of more danger to come, and that, despite his own point of view that it was fine, it is imperative—not a concession—to ask for permission before touching someone under their clothing."

    # TOPICS: Neil DeGrasse Tyson, FOX, National Geographic, Cosmos, Cosmos: Possible Worlds, Sexual Misconduct

  • Posted Tuesday 12/04/18 at 1:01PM EST Louis CK was met with a female heckler Sunday night at the Comedy Cellar
    Source: The Interrobang

    Klaire Randall tweeted that she was asked to leave after telling Louis CK "to get his d*ck out on stage" during his Sunday night performance. Comedy Cellar owner Noam Dworman disputes her story, however, saying: “The woman was absolutely not kicked out. She left on her own accord."

    # TOPICS: Louis CK, Noam Dworman, Sexual Misconduct, Stand-Up Comedy

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