CBS To Investigate Misconduct Allegations Against CEO Leslie Moonves

CBS To Investigate Misconduct Allegations Against CEO Leslie Moonves

"All allegations of personal misconduct are to be taken seriously", the company said in a statement.

CBS Corp.'s stock fell 6 percent - its worst one-day loss in almost seven years - as the reports of the misconduct allegations began to circulate around noon Friday, triggering investor concerns Moonves might be forced to step down.

Moonves clashed with Redstone earlier this year over her bid to merge CBS with Viacom. In the New Yorker article, four of the six women accuse Moonves of forcibly touching or kissing during business routines. Two told me that Moonves physically intimidated them or threatened to derail their careers.

Douglas then tried, as so many women do, to brush off the incident and find a way to extricate herself without insulting her boss. But he says, "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", he added.

A total of six women were cited in the New Yorker article. "The Independent Directors of CBS have committed to investigating claims that violate the Company's clear policies in that regard", the statement said.

"We do not believe, however, that the picture of our company created in The New Yorker represents a larger organization that does its best to treat its tens of thousands of employees with dignity and respect".

The article makes Moonves, a distinguished executive who transformed CBS into a ratings victor, one of the most powerful American men implicated in the #MeToo era that ignited a year ago after the career implosion of Harvey Weinstein. Rose apologized for inappropriate behavior but questioned the accuracy of some of the accounts.

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In Farrow's article, he delves into the stories of several women who accused Moonves of sexual misconduct, and how the CEO's behavior created a culture of harassment and misogyny throughout the network. This report is especially galling, considering that Moonves helped found the Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace.

"The timing of this report comes in the midst of the Company's very public legal dispute", the CBS spokesperson said.

Moonves, 68, is in a legal battle over control of the USA company with its largest shareholder, National Amusements. His daughter, Shari Redstone, has been pushing to reunite the companies under one corporate umbrella. Moonves opposes the deal. Moonves status will not change as CEO and the board voiced its "full support" of the leader in CBS' entertainment industry.

While a distraction for the board, the sexual misconduct allegations are unlikely to be a factor in the DE court case, said Larry Hamermesh, a Widener University law professor who is an expert in Delaware's corporate statutes. In another investigation published this spring, The Post reported that there were even more allegations than previously described, and that at least some of them had been reported to management at CBS News.

Now stars and other CBS executives are tweeting their support for Moonves, including Sharon Osbourne, whose talk show "The Talk" with co-host Chen airs on CBS. At CBS, he commissioned hit shows such as "CSI" and "The Big Bang Theory".

He also introduced separate streaming CBS and Showtime services as more people "cut the cord" and watch TV online. And this time, the trouble starts at the top.

Farrow - whose reporting on Moonves spanned eight months - said in a CNN interview Friday evening that the women's goal was not necessarily to bring down the CBS executive, but to shine a light on the kind of misconduct he allegedly perpetuated. Viacom closed up 4.6 percent. He also won the Milestone Award from the Producers Guild of America that year.