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Les Moonves Leaves Anita Hill-Led Commission on Sexual Misconduct

CBS chief is being investigated for sexual misconduct allegations stemming from a New Yorker report

CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves is stepping away from the Anita Hill-chaired special commission to combat sexual misconduct in the industry amid sexual misconduct allegations against the media heavyweight.

A spokesperson for the Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Inclusion confirmed that Moonves decided to recuse himself from his position as one of the Commissioners. CBS is currently investigating the claims made in Ronan Farrow’s New Yorker story last week, where six women accused Moonves of sexual misconduct.

The Commission was designed to bring together the industry’s top decision makers to create a comprehensive strategy to address the complex and inter-related causes of the problems of parity and power across the entertainment industry. The Commission was founded by a council of four leading female executives — led by Kathleen Kennedy in conjunction with Nina Shaw, Freada Kapor Klein and Maria Eitel and chaired by Anita Hill.

Moonves, along with 25 of his peer executives in the entertainment industry, were later invited to join as representatives of their organizations. It also includes members Bryan Lourd, Co- Chairman, Creative Artists Agency; Jeff Shell, Chairman, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group; Jim Gianopulos, Chairman/CEO, Paramount; Carol Lombardini, President, Alliance Motion Picture and Television Producers; and Chris Silbermann, Founding Partner, ICM Partners, among others.

Moonves will stay as CEO of CBS while the allegations are being investigated, but that hasn’t stopped others from distancing themselves from Moonves.

Earlier on Wednesday, USC’s Julie Chen/Leslie Moonves and CBS Media Center told TheWrap it would “temporarily suspend” the use of the couple’s names until CBS concludes its investigation. The CBS chief has also been suspended from his position on the Board of Councilors at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.

Just two days after the Moonves allegations surfaced, Hill was a guest on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.” Oliver sat down with Hill to talk about the #MeToo movement and the changing views of sexual harassment. The Brandeis University professor told the host that despite the progress that has been made, men needed to “step up” if they were going to help eradicate the situation.

“You are needed,” Hill told Oliver of men. “We need you to step up. There are no innocent bystanders.”

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