Moonves Scandal One Year Later: What's Really Changed At CBS?

It was a year ago this month that The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow detailed allegations from six women that former CBS chief Leslie Moonves sexually harassed them. The alleged behavior took place over decades, from the 1980s to the early 2000s.

A couple of months later, Farrow followed up with another story about six more women alleging sexual abuse at the hands of Moonves. He was gone shortly thereafter.

There were stories about Moonves exposing himself to one of his physicians and other reports that CBS employees were on call waiting to satisfy Moonves sexually when he beckoned. The New York Times reported on an internal investigation that Moonves reportedly tried to obstruct.

While Moonves’ alleged behavior was abhorrent, he wasn’t the first Hollywood big shot to be taken down in the #MeToo era. Harvey Weinstein, currently facing criminal charges of alleged sexual assault against two women, was exposed earlier. So was Matt Lauer at NBC and Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly at Fox.



Sadly, Moonves was not the only high-level person at CBS to be held accountable for inappropriate sexual conduct.

Charlie Rose of CBS News was terminated after multiple women alleged abuse, as reported by The New York Times and The Washington Post. More than 24 women in all said they were his victims; and WaPo reported at least three managers at the network were warned about the behavior over the years.

Which raises a point about company culture and what’s really changed? The fish stinks from the head down, right?

Moonves was certainly the stinking head at CBS. You have to wonder how many enablers he had to get away with such abuse for so long. How many are still employed at the network? Same questions apply to Rose and other alleged abusers at other companies.  

CBS could have made a bigger statement about its determination to thoroughly examine its culture and make changes where necessary by hiring a woman to replace Moonves at CBS. Instead, the company bumped up Moonves’ longtime No. 2, Joseph Ianniello, to serve as acting CEO and cancelled the search for a new permanent CEO.

It's a statement that says: “Our culture is just fine, thank you very much, and we’re moving on.” No CBS, your culture is not fine, and you need a fresh start, led by a talented female CEO. There are plenty out there. Just rekindle your search, and you’ll see.

Moonves has been keeping a pretty low profile in recent months. Maybe he should run for president. He probably has more name recognition than most of the Democrats in the race right now. And many Americans don’t seem to care how misogynistic or abusive male candidates are to women. At least not the minority of Americans that elected Donald Trump. 

4 comments about "Moonves Scandal One Year Later: What's Really Changed At CBS?".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Eric Fischer from HJA Strategic Consulting, July 10, 2019 at 2:23 p.m.

    Confused.  Moonves was shown to be a disreputable person, but do you have any proof CBS hasn't changed its policies?  Read your post twice and you don't offer any supporting evidence either way.  Might read better if there were some actual facts to back up your assertion.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited replied, July 10, 2019 at 10:41 p.m.

    The took on a dude who knew, maybe participated, about it all and ignored it.

  3. Lisa Perez from Meredith Corp, July 15, 2019 at 2:56 p.m.

    Having first hand knowledge of the rampant inappropriate behavior, bullying and misogeny, unless a very wide and public revamp is put in place, it is, and will be, business as usual.

  4. Eric Fischer from HJA Strategic Consulting, July 15, 2019 at 6:11 p.m.

    Lisa, you work at a newspaper company and misspelled misogyny.

Next story loading loading..