Ex-boss of CBS, Leslie Moonves, won’t be getting his $120m severance pay after inquiry into sexual assault complaints against him. He had apparently misled the firm over the accusations and didn’t cooperate with investigators. Moonves had stepped down as CBS boss in September after new complaints of allegedly sexually assaulting and harassing 6 more women were brought against him. He had however denied the truth behind the allegations. CBS stated that in addition to failing to work with investigators, he had misused his authority as well. Furthermore, company policies and his own employment contract were violated by him, meaning loss of severance payment. After working for 23years in CBS as its chief executive and chairman, Moonves was all set to receive $120m as possible payment.
Writer and actress Illena Douglas of Cape Fear and Goodfellas fame became one of the very first women to publicly open up about Moonves’ alleged sexual assault against her. She said in an article that she was sacked from her job for not participating in the inappropriate sexual advance that Moonves had made towards her. The article also talked about CBS’s culture of sexual harassment. Investigations conducted by external law firms found that such incidents weren’t pervasive, but actions taken against previous cases of unprofessional and improper conduct weren’t very severe either.
69-year-old Leslie Moonves was in-charge of mini-series, films and later creative affairs during 1980s at Lorimar. He became president and oversaw shows like Falcon Crest, Knots Landing and Dallas. 1993 saw merger of Lorimar and Warner Bros, and with it Moonves became chief executive and president of the latter. He oversaw launch of popular shows like ER and Friends. In 1995, Moonves moved to CBS, revived it and hit shows like Survivor, NCIS and The Big Bang Theory. In 2013 he was admitted to the Television Hall of Fame for his work and contributions to TV.
CBS said that the company hadn’t done much to protect its employees from retaliation. It added that serious steps were being taken to ensure safety of its workers and maintain sanctity of the work environment.