CBS Opens Sexual Misconduct Investigation as New Yorker Story Looms

Network doesn’t identify the subject of the investigation

Les Moonves
Leslie Moonves, chief executive officer of CBS Corporation, attends the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, July 5, 2016 in Sun Valley, Idaho. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

CBS is opening an investigation into claims of sexual misconduct, the network said in a statement Friday, as the New Yorker is expected to release a report accusing chief Les Moonves of inappropriate behavior.

“All allegations of personal misconduct are to be taken seriously. The Independent Directors of CBS have committed to investigating claims that violate the Company’s clear policies in that regard,” the statement said. “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 statement continued: “The timing of this report comes in the midst of the Company’s very public legal dispute. While that litigation process continues, the CBS management team has the full support of the independent board members. Along with that team, we will continue to focus on creating value for our shareowners.”

The New Yorker and journalist Ronan Farrow rocked the entertainment industry last fall after several women accused Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. The report set off a widespread reckoning against sexual misconduct in the workplace, and propelled the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. Weinstein was hit with three sexual assault charges in New York earlier this month.