CBS Studios Exec Vinnie Favale Placed on Leave After Workplace Misconduct Accusations

Nine current and former CBS employees accused Favale of using sexual and homophobic language, according to a CNN report

vinnie favale
CBS Studios

CBS Studios executive Vinnie Favale was placed on administrative leave after multiple accusations of him using sexual and homophobic language.

“The comments reported in this story are offensive and not consistent with the standards we expect from our executives or the culture we want at CBS. The network investigated a complaint for inappropriate language that was received in January 2016, and corrective action was taken,” said the company in a statement. “However, since concerned voices are speaking up nearly three years later, additional review is warranted.  Mr. Favale has been placed on leave while we look into this situation further.”

The news comes following a CNN report, which detailed accusations of multiple instances of inappropriate workplace language from nine current and former CBS employees. They described instances in “Late Show” meetings and rehearsals, between 2015 and 2018, where Favale “used sexual innuendo, made homophobic comments and allegedly said derogatory remarks about the appearances of female guests.”

“Allegations that I have ever retaliated against anyone in any fashion are 100% false,” Favale told CNN. “I have spent my entire career working at comedy shows, where there has always been a wide latitude to make transgressive jokes while preparing the program. While we make a lot of jokes, these jokes attributed to me, whether said in rehearsals or production meetings, are being taken out of context and were not said in the way being presented here.”

Favale is currently senior VP of talent development at CBS Studios, which he was named in 2017. He was a longtime executive for David Letterman’s version of “Late Night,” where he worked from 1996 through Letterman’s retirement in 2015, making frequent on-air appearances. He also helped in the transition to Stephen Colbert.

Favale is one of the original founders of cable network Comedy Central. He developed and oversaw “The Howard Stern Radio Show,” a syndicated TV version of Stern’s popular radio show; Favale was a frequent guest on the show, often calling in to talk about Letterman.

The accusations against Favale come amid a tumultuous time for CBS Corporation.

Last month, Leslie Moonves resigned as CEO following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, while a few days later CBS News fired “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager, citing a threatening text message he sent to a CBS reporter (he also has multiple sexual misconduct accusations leveled against him). On Tuesday, CBS Television Studios fired former “NCIS: New Orleans” showrunner Brad Kern following a third misconduct investigation.

CBS is currently facing investigations by New York City and state officials over the Moonves accusations and concerns about the company’s broader workplace culture. The company also hired two law firms to investigate.