‘It Just Rings So True’ – Variety

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Entertainment trade leaders Friday night started to course of the weighty allegations of sexual misconduct by CBS chief Leslie Moonves revealed within the New Yorker.

The journal on Friday revealed a narrative by reporter Ronan Farrow detailing claims by six girls towards Moonves of sexual misconduct. The alleged incidents spanned a number of a long time, with the earliest of them reported to have taken place in throughout Moonves’ early days as a tv exec at Fox. The revelations arrive as Moonves is in a pitched authorized battle with majority shareholder Shari Redstone over a proposed merger with Viacom.

Moonves’ future is now the topic of heightened hypothesis all through the trade.

“With Shari gunning for him, there’s just no way he survives this,” one high-ranking govt at a rival community instructed Variety, including of the allegations in Farrow’s story, “It just rings so true.”

One CBS exec described the angle inside the corporate as information of the allegations broke as “sanguine,” and tied Farrow’s story to the flood of misconduct allegations which have engulfed the leisure trade for the reason that publication final 12 months of sexual-assault claims towards disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein. “It’s a tough day,” the insider mentioned. “This is simply a culture in the entire industry that has been manifesting itself in a certain way for a long time, and now things are changing. It’s a tectonic shift.”

How the Moonves allegations affect Redstone’s makes an attempt to reunite Viacom and CBS, which had been beforehand one firm till CBS was spun off as a separate entity greater than a decade in the past, stays to be seen. Moonves’ resistance to the deal is believed to be pushed partially by Redstone’s choice that Viacom CEO Bob Bakish be given a senior position on the mixed firm.

“The big question is that if he’s booted, does Shari fast-track the merger and then put Bob in place as CEO?” one exec at a rival community instructed Variety.

Among the claims within the New Yorker story is an accusation by actress and author Illeana Douglas, who described a gathering with Moonves wherein he held her down on a sofa and kissed her with out her consent. The story additionally describes a tradition at CBS that’s permissive of sexual misconduct, notably within the CBS News division.

Moonves responded to the allegations in an announcement Friday, saying, ““Throughout my time at CBS, we have promoted a culture of respect and opportunity for all employees, and have consistently found success elevating women to top executive positions across our company. I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. 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. This is a time when we all are appropriately focused on how we help improve our society, and we at CBS are committed to being part of the solution.”

Julie Chen, who hosts “The Talk” and “Big Brother” for CBS, and has been married to Moonves since 2004, additionally responded Friday to the New Yorker story. “I’ve identified my husband, Leslie Moonves, for the reason that late ‘90s, and I’ve been married to him for nearly 14 years,” Chen wrote in an announcement launched on Twitter. “Leslie is a good man and a loving father, devoted husband and inspiring corporate leader. He has always been a kind, decent and moral human being. I fully support my husband and stand behind him and his statement.”

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