For over twenty years, Leslie Moonves has been the chairman and CEO of CBS, but it looks like his tenure may be coming to an end after his stunning admission that he “may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances.” Sources say that Moonves is “done” at the network, but the 68-year-old is not going down without a fight.
“It’s just a matter of time” until the network fires him, claims an insider. “He apologized, but that meant game over. He thought it would help him, but it didn’t.”
According to Radar Online, Moonves and CBS are currently negotiating his exit package, but “he’s putting up a fight and is not going quietly.”
Stephen Colbert goes after his CBS boss Les Moonves: "Accountability is meaningless unless it’s for everybody, whether it’s for the leader of a network or the leader of the free world" https://t.co/WmQj3PnehA
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) July 31, 2018
Last week, The New Yorker reported that six different women have come forward with claims of sexual harassment against Moonves — who is married to The Talk’s Julie Chen . Four of them allege that during business meetings he forcibly kissed or touched them, and two claim that the powerful executive “physically intimidated them” and threatened to ruin their careers.
All six of the women claim that after they rejected his advances, he became “cold or hostile,” and all of their careers suffered because of it.
Actress and writer Illeana Douglas says that she was the victim of sexual assault, and because she didn’t participate, Les Moonves had her fired.
After The New Yorker published the article, CBS said the network was in the process of hiring outside counsel, so they could conduct an independent investigation. But an inside source says that even though CBS has not concluded the investigation, they are still negotiating Moonves’ exit package.
Shari Redstone is a member of the CBS board, and a report claims that she has a “tense” relationship with Moonves because of his resistance to re-merge CBS with Viacom, their sister company. Redstone is also the head of National Amusements, CBS’ parent company, and she wants the merger to happen.
Redstone had planned on Moonves being in charge of the merger, with Viacom CEO Bob Bakish being second-in-command. But now, Bakish is patiently waiting to take over the top position.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 30, 2018
Moonves said in a statement that during his time at CBS, they have promoted a culture of respect and provided opportunity for all employees. Across the company, the network has found success promoting women to top executive positions. However, he recognizes that there were times many years ago when he may have made women uncomfortable by making advances. Moonves says he knows those were mistakes, and he regrets making them.
He continued by explaining that he has always understood that “no” means ‘no,” and he has never misused his position to hurt anyone’s career.
CBS says that throughout Leslie Moonves 24 years at the network, there have never been any misconduct claims or settlements against him.