Les Moonves (shown), the disgraced chieftain of CBS, won’t collect a penny of the $120 million severance he was due.
On Monday, the Tiffany Network’s board of directors announced that Moonves’ fireable offenses meant that the company did not have to fork over the nine-figure payment.
Those offenses? On-the-job sex shenanigans, which included, several women alleged, outright assault.
Moonves’ tenure at CBS ended in September after the New Yorker detailed the kind of claims that have brought down a number of top executives in entertainment and media, including movie tycoon Harvey Weinstein and NBC’s Matt Lauer.
The statement from the CBS board of directors was short and sweet:
We have determined that there are grounds to terminate for cause, including his willful and material misfeasance, violation of Company policies and breach of his employment contract, as well as his willful failure to cooperate fully with the Company’s investigation. Mr. Moonves will not receive any severance payment from the Company.
The board claimed that “investigators also concluded that harassment and retaliation are not pervasive at CBS,” but did find “past incidents of improper and unprofessional conduct, and concluded that the Company’s historical policies, practices and structures have not reflected a high institutional priority on preventing harassment and retaliation.”
As well, CBS doesn’t do enough to train its employees on diversity and “inclusion.”
That’s putting it mildly, given what the New York Times reported just weeks ago. A draft of the investigators’ report on Moonves concluded that he not only did what he was accused of doing but also had women on the payroll to satisfy his libidinous desires any time night or day.
The report concluded that 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.”
And a female employee was “on call” to fellate the executive when he felt the need. “A number of employees were aware of this and believed that the woman was protected from discipline or termination as a result of it,” the Times reported, citing the report.
Even worse, one board member knew about the allegations and didn’t care what Moonves had done, apparently because of his record in turning out one television hit after another for the network. “I don’t care if 30 more women come forward and allege this kind of stuff,” board member Arnold Kopelson said, the Times reported. “Les is our leader and it wouldn’t change my opinion of him.”
Fired In September
Moonves, who pulled down $69 million a year, quit the network after Ronan Farrow, the New Yorker’s #MeToo hitman, published two shocking reports about the oversexed executive.
After Farrow detailed the stories of several women who described outright assaults or at best, unwanted overtures, Moonves admitted only consensual sex, a story he maintained after the CBS board told to him kiss the $120-million severance package goodbye.
“What happened to me was a sexual assault,” actress Illeana Douglas told Farrow about an attack, during which Moonves held her down on a couch while “violently kissing her.” Screenwriter Janet Jones described a meeting at which he “threw himself on top of me” on a couch. “I was hitting on you,” Moonves said when she protested, and “I wanted a kiss.” Another woman, Christine Peters, accused Moonves of putting his hand up her skirt. Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb, a prominent executive in Hollywood, said Moonves forced her to perform oral sex.
Yet Moonves is just one of many stars in the firmament of the hard-left media and entertainment industries to be felled by the #MeToo movement.
Farrow also took down Jeff Fager, the head of CBS’s 60 Minutes, who threatened a CBS reporter who was writing a story about his misconduct, which including groping employees.
According to Vox, 252 “celebrities, politicians, CEOs, and others” have been accused of some form of misconduct since April 2017.
The ranks of those whom #MeToo has felled seem mostly to include morally preening liberals, including Senator Al Franken, New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush, NBC’s Lauer and Mark Halperin, PBS’s Charlie Rose, the New Republic’s Leon Wieseltier, and NPR’s Garrison Keillor.
Photo: AP Images