Stephen Colbert told viewers of “The Late Show” Wednesday night that members of his staff had complained several times about inappropriate conduct of a now-suspended CBS executive but that the network had not been responsive.
“About six months into this show, some of the employees said that they were uncomfortable with some of the things he said,” Colbert told viewers. “We took their complaints to HR. They investigated. Twice. But I don’t really know what if anything happened. It seemed like someone was protecting this guy. I don’t know who it was.”
On Wednesday, CNN published a report on senior vice president of talent for CBS Televisions Studios, Vinnie Favale, which found that he often used what the network called “sexist and homophobic” language in the workplace. Favale was suspended shortly before the story was published.
A rep for CBS declined to comment on the Colbert allegations of slow-walking internal complaints, but in a statement issued for the CNN report, CBS said:
“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. 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.”
In his statement on air, Colbert thanked CNN for their reporting and reminded viewers of his belief that President Trump was wrong when he called the media “the enemy of the people.”
“I’m grateful to CNN for writing this article because the press is not the enemy of the people. This is why you want a free press. This is why you want investigative journalism,” he said. “It’s to make sure that government and companies and people are accountable for their actions.”
Reps for Colbert did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap.