Les Moonves leaves CBS, $20 million to be donated to #MeToo movement

Alicia Cross
September 11, 2018

The media giant had been investigating Mr Moonves since July, when the original claims appeared in the New Yorker. He was regarded as one of the most capable programming executives in television, and one of the highest-paid as well.

A CBS spokesman on Sunday sent the Post a statement in response to the New Yorker story: "CBS takes these allegations very seriously". And the returns on CBS shares have lagged behind those of a wider media-stock index, especially as mergers swept through the industry.

The network did not address the allegations directly, but said Mr Moonves will donate $20 million to one or more organisations that support the #MeToo movement and equality for women in the workplace. Early this year, Moonves informed a portion of the CBS board about the criminal investigation. The idea of CBS merging with Viacom, meanwhile, was less attractive to investors. "Moonves declined to specify which three encounters he considered consensual". The piece also delved into the broader culture at CBS.

Last year, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, he "earned almost seventy million dollars, making him one of the highest-paid corporate executives in the world", according to reports.

"The donation, which will be made immediately, has been deducted from any severance benefits that may be due Moonves", the statement said.

"Every two days, he'd find a darker space, or a place downstairs", she said.

CBS said Moonves will not receive any severance benefits at this time, but will get "certain fully accrued and vested compensation and benefits".

At the end of July, Ronan Farrow published an article in The New Yorker detailing sexual harassment and assault claims against CBS CEO Les Moonves.

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In the latest article, six women accuse Moonves of harassment or assault in incidents that include claims that Moonves forced them to perform oral sex on him, "violently" threw a woman against a wall, exposed himself and used physical violence and intimidation against them.

"As I understand the allegations, and he denies them, but as I understand them, they allege that he used his corporate authority to badger and in some cases to force women to touch his body and in a way that they didn't want to", he said.

Moonves told Farrow in a statement that the "appalling accusations in this article are untrue". Janet, on the other hand, did not see a reason to apologize and it's for that reason that Moonves reportedly held an "ire and vengefulness" grudge against her. Moonves' feelings towards Janet may have had something to do with the reported blacklisting of her music from MTV.

Moonves is the first CEO of a Fortune 500 company to leave his job amid harassment allegations in the year since two investigations of Harvey Weinstein (one of them by Farrow) jump-started the #MeToo Movement.

In earlier court filings, NAI had dropped support for a deal before it was sued in May by CBS for control of the company. Then the newly reshaped board - with six new independent directors as of Sunday night - will evaluate the report.

The litigants had been scheduled to face off in court next month.

Adalian points out "that for all of his abilities as a programmer and executive, part of Moonves's power derived from the mythology which built up around him" which "put too much value in the Great Man theory of history".

Ianniello has worked for the company since 1997 and thus is very familiar with the assets and is the best choice as temporary CEO, Creutz said.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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