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CBS CEO Les Moonves won’t be suspended during sexual misconduct investigation

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leslie moonvesGetty Images / Jason
Merritt


  • CBS CEO and chairman Les Moonves won’t be suspended
    during an investigation into sexual misconduct claims against
    him, CBS said Monday.
  • The CBS board of directors met Monday to discuss
    Moonves’ future and how to proceed with an
    investigation.
  • The board will select outside counsel to conduct the
    investigation, and postponed the company’s annual stockholder
    meeting, but “no other action was taken” on the
    matter.
  • Moonves was accused by six women of sexual misconduct
    in a New Yorker report published Friday.
  • Hollywood has remained largely silent, but some CBS
    female executives and personalities have voiced their support
    for Moonves, including his wife Julie Chen.

 

It appears that CBS CEO Les Moonves will remain in his job during
an investigation into sexual misconduct claims made against him
by six women.

The CBS board of directors met on Monday to discuss Moonves’
future and how to proceed with an investigation after the women
accused Moonves of sexual misconduct in a report published Friday
by The New Yorker

Prior to the meeting, The Wall Street Journal reported that board
members differed in opinions on whether Moonves should step away
during the investigation.

The board will select outside counsel to conduct the
investigation, CBS said in a statement Monday, but the board did
not decide that Moonves should step away. It did decide to
postpone the company’s annual stockholder meeting.

Here is the statement from CBS:

“CBS Corporation announced today that its Board of Directors is
in the process of selecting outside counsel to conduct an
independent investigation. No other action was taken on this
matter at today’s board meeting.

Additionally, the Board determined to postpone CBS
Corporation’s 2018 annual meeting of stockholders that was
previously scheduled to be held on August 10, 2018. The Board
will determine a new record date for the 2018 annual meeting of
stockholders and will publicly disclose the new date, time and
location.”

Six women told investigative journalist Ronan Farrow that
Moonves had forcibly touched or kissed them and, in some cases,
negatively influenced their careers when they rejected his
advances. One of the accusers, actress and writer Illeana
Douglas, alleged that Moonves pinned her down and kissed her
during a business meeting in 1997, and when Douglas struggled
through auditions the following week, Moonves called to berate
her. She was later fired from the show.

While CBS told The New Yorker that Moonves
acknowledged trying to kiss Douglas, it said he “denies any
characterization of ‘sexual assault,’ intimidation, or
retaliatory action.”

Moonves denied the allegations generally in a statement to
The New Yorker:

“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.”

Hollywood has largely remained silent on the allegations
against Moonves and CBS, but some female executives and
personalities at the company have voiced their support,
including Moonves’ wife, Julie Chen. Chen tweeted on Friday, “He has
always been a kind, decent, and moral human being. I fully
support my husband and stand behind him and his
statement.”

Executives Angelica McDaniel and Jo Ann Ross, “The Talk”
co-host Sharon Osbourne, and actress Lynda Carter were among the
others to defend Moonves.

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