CBS C.E.O. Les Moonves to Be Investigated Over Sexual Misconduct Allegations

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On Friday morning, the CBS board of directors announced that it will investigate sexual misconduct claims made against Les Moonves, the network’s C.E.O.

“All allegations of personal misconduct are to be taken seriously,” the board stated in a press release. “The Independent Directors of CBS have committed to investigating claims that violate the Company’s clear policies in that regard. Upon the conclusion of that investigation, which involves recently reported allegations that go back several decades, the Board will promptly review the findings and take appropriate action.”

The announcement arrived hours before The New Yorker was reportedly set to publish an exposé from Ronan Farrow, the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist whose reporting on Harvey Weinstein helped fell the Hollywood mogul and crystalize the current Time’s Up and #MeToo movements. Farrow’s forthcoming report, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is said to accuse Moonves of “unwanted kissing and touching that occurred more than 20 years ago, as well as numerous claims that occurred more recently.” (The CBS board’s statement did not mention Moonves by name, but did reference a pending New Yorker article.)

CBS also noted the timing of the new claims—as arriving “in the midst of the Company’s very public legal dispute.” This past May, Vanity Fair’s William D. Cohan reported that the battle between Moonves and Shari Redstone, whose family currently controls both CBS and Viacom, for command over the network had gone “nuclear”—with CBS attempting to wrest voting power away from the Redstones. Shari, the heir apparent to father Sumner Redstone’s media kingdom, has been hoping to merge the companies that her father split into two publicly traded corporations. Moonves and the CBS board sued Shari in hopes of preventing the merger. The suit is set to be argued in court in October.

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