Ronan Farrow at The New Yorker has just released another exposé alleging sexual harassment and an enabling culture at CBS Networks. Those named as perpetrators include CBS chairman Les Moonves, NCIS: New Orleans producer Brad Kern, CBS News executive producer Peter Fager, and already-ousted anchor Charlie Rose. All of the accused have denied the allegations.
In his report, Farrow spoke with six women, five of whom went on the record to tell their stories of being harassed by Moonves. The accusers range from Emmy-winning actress Illeana Douglas to writers and producers. Thirty other former and current CBS employees also allege harassment and company-wide protection for those accused of misconduct. Some employees allege that their careers were later derailed as a result of filing harassment complaints. Farrow covered a myriad of allegations against Moonves and CBS — and these are the most shocking stories in his investigative report.
Moonves Has A History Of Forcibly Kissing Women In Business Meetings
Actress Illeana Douglas and writer Janet Jones both describe being forcibly kissed by Moonves. They also both describe being physically accosted and feeling immobilized by the weight of his body, saying they were terrified. An anonymous actress on a CBS program also alleged she was subjected to forcible kissing by Moonves, after he previously made a sexual advance toward her.
Women Who Did Not Comply With Moonves's Sexual Requests Were Denied Employment Opportunities
Douglas and Jones both allege that they were the targets of subsequent retaliatory actions after being assaulted by Moonves. Jones says that Moonves threatened her career, allegeding telling her, “You will never get a writing job. No one will hire you.” Douglas was fired from the TV show Queens, and accepted a role on another television series after she spoke with a lawyer.
Producer Christine Peters alleges that Moonves stuck his hand under her skirt during a business meeting, and when she did not allow the behavior to continue she did not receive any further work from CBS. An unnamed actress, who reportedly starred on a CBS police procedural drama, says she never appeared on another CBS show after rebuffing sexual advances from Moonves, including one episode of forcible kissing.
Men Accused Of Sexual Misconduct Were Promoted At CBS
Moonves was not the only person accused of misconduct. Vicki Gordon, a senior producer on 60 Minutes, alleged that another producer, Michael Radutzky, became violent with her. She reported the incident to executive producer Jeff Fager. Gordon says that Fager then asked her to apologize to Radutzky. Another former CBS employee, David Gelber, says that Fager later promoted Radutzky to a “position of leadership” on the show. Fager went on to accept an award on behalf of 60 Minutes after Charlie Rose was terminated from the program.
Many Women Reported A Toxic Work Environment, With A Focus On CBS News & 60 Minutes
Fager himself was also the subject of sexual misconduct accusations. Farrow spoke to several former and current employees who describe Fager’s after-work parties, in which he would make advances and grope coworkers while drunk. He is also accused of crafting retaliatory strategies against employees who complained of sexual harassment from male producers, and targeting female producers for termination. Katie Couric, who was fired from CBS, said the network “felt like a boys’ club, where a number of talented women seemed to be marginalized and undervalued.” Couric alleges that Fager helped engineer her firing. Another employee, Habiba Nosheen, called Fager an “an enabler of this Mad Men culture at 60 Minutes.”
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).