Monday, September 10, 2018 at 8:50 AM

#MeToo Reckoning Claims Head of CBS, Les Moonves

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

CBS Corporation announced on Sunday that chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves is departing the company, effective immediately. Moonves’ exit comes hours after The New Yorker published accounts from six women with allegations of sexual assault or misconduct, following allegations by six other women in July. …

A financial exit package for Moonves [of $120 million] will be withheld pending the results of an ongoing investigation into the allegations against him.

(CBS News, September 9, 2018)

With all due respect, this latest reporting is as anticlimactic as Moonves’s belated firing. Because here is what I wrote back in July about his fate in “#MeToo: After Firing Charlie Rose, CBS Must Fire Les Moonves!” July 30, 2018.

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Frankly, this investigation is just a formality. Because, as it did with Harvey Weinstein, The New Yorker has provided all the BOD needs – in this age of #MeToo – to do the right thing.

Unsurprisingly, this analogy extends to claims that, as chairman and CEO, Moonves presided over the same kind of culture of sexual harassment at CBS that prevailed at The Weinstein Company. This caused the latter to file for bankruptcy in the wake allegations against Harvey. Therefore, board members at CBS are surely anxious to excise the cancer Moonves represents.

Not to mention the precedent CBS has already set by firing its star anchor Charlie Rose for behavior that seems relatively tame by comparison.

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Alas, CBS is still stringing Moonves’s victims along. For this is all they’re doing by holding out the prospect that he will get at least $100 million of his $120 million golden parachute. And this, despite the fact that, if ever a CEO deserved a hard landing after getting the boot, it’s Moonves.

Specifically, reports are that CBS and Moonves agreed to donate $20 million to organizations championing the #MeToo movement. Further, that CBS will hold the remaining $100 million pending the outcome of its ongoing investigation. Which raises the question:

  • If the ongoing investigation finds Moonves as guilty as reported, if not more so, will CBS donate the remaining $100 million to the movement?

Again, it’s patently clear that, in addition to affirming allegations already reported, this investigation will only uncover more damning incidents of Moonves’s predatory sexual behavior.  This is why, far from getting that remaining $100 million, he’ll be lucky if he doesn’t get arrested (like Harvey Weinstein) before all is said and done. Which raises another question:

  • How does his wife Julie Chen — who co-hosts The Talk and hosts Big Brother both on CBS — continue living with this disgraced predator, especially given her public support for the movement … before it outed him?

In any event, the #MeToo reckoning continues. Stay tuned …

NOTE: We now know that thousands of Catholic priests went through life using their religious authority to sexually abuse little boys (and girls). Therefore, nobody should be surprised to learn that thousands of Hollywood honchos went through life using their star power to sexually assault powerless women.

Related commentaries:
MeToo Charlie Rose

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