CBS Independent Directors Respond to Report of Misconduct by CEO Les Moonves

Report New Ronan Farrow investigation to accuse CBS President Moonves of sexual misconduct

CBS chief Leslie Moonves has been accused of sexually harassing six women who had professional dealings with him from the 1980s to the late 2000s, the New Yorker alleged Friday, in a bombshell piece that had Hollywood buzzing for hours before it published.

Ileana Douglas, who starred in Martin Scorsese's Cape Fear and Goodfellas and later won an Emmy for Six Feet Under, describes Moonves grabbing her and violently kissing her during a business meeting in 1997.

In a 2005 profile, the New York Times described one of Moonves's keys to success as "understanding what the audience wants - sometimes even before it knows it wants it".

In 2017, CBS ranked as the most-watched network in terms of total viewers, as it had done for nine consecutive years. However, they issued a statement to BuzzFeed News, stating they are "very mindful of all workplace issues and takes each report of misconduct very seriously".

Dozens of other current and former employees claim that sexual misconduct was permitted at the network - with many telling the New Yorker that former chairman and current "60 Minutes" executive producer Jeff Fager touched employees in a weird way while drunk at work functions and allowed harassment in the news division.

He joined CBS in 1995 from Warner Bros.

More news: Vladimir Putin is not welcome on Capitol Hill, Republican leaders tell Trump

Mr Farrow, whose damning exposé of Harvey Weinstein, the film mogul, is credited with triggering a broad movement against sexual assault and harassment, is said to have been investigating CBS for several months.

He transformed CBS over the past two decades, building it into a ratings powerhouse - it has been the No. 1 network in total viewers for 10 consecutive years. His compensation reflects his value to the company: The New Yorker reports that he earned almost $70,000,000 previous year, making him one of the highest-paid executives in the world. "The Independent Directors of CBS have committed to investigating claims that violate the company's clear policies". And two said Moonves physically intimidated or threatened to derail their careers if they were to disclose the transgressions with anyone else.

In 2013 it was reported that Moonves earned more than $65m, making him one of TV's highest paid executives.

On Friday, in response to the expected Farrow report, the independent directors of the board said they would look into the charges made in the forthcoming article. Other women in the New Yorker article described retaliation after their alleged negative interactions with Moonves, including the loss of career opportunities and the spread of rumors that they were hard to deal with.

CBS resisted a deal, and later took Shari Redstone to court to dilute her controlling stake in the company. In its statement Friday, the CBS board said that it will "continue to focus on creating value for our shareowners".

At CBS, he has launched popular prime time television shows such as "Everybody Loves Raymond", "Survivor" and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation". It pits Moonves against Shari Redstone, who controls a majority of the voting shares in both CBS and Viacom...

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