The organization has urged Shari Redstone, who has seized control of CBS, and the Board of CBS to commit to an independent investigation of sexual assault allegations along with other parameters that will help pave the way to a more equitable workplace. Additionally, Time's Up has asked that CBS donate Moonves' severance — a cool $120 million dollars — to organizations that address sexual assault and workplace safety.
It’s important that we bear in mind that Moonves is not a singular, isolated perp. As we’ve learned from the past year of reckoning, men like Moonves, Weinstein, and others held to account for their abuses of power, are symptomatic of a problem that transcends individual harassers. As such, siphoning Moonves’ severance package and putting it towards initiatives that actively work on eroding many of these systemic problems is arguably a valid and productive use of this money.
CBS already said it would donate $20 million to one or more organizations supporting equality for women in the workplace, but Time’s Up doesn’t think it’s enough — as the rest of the money the severance money would either go to Moonves or “back into the coffers of the company that allowed the culture created by Mr. Moonves to continue.” And, unlike a donation directly from Moonves’ estate — which, arguably, could be seen as insincere hush money that organizations fighting sexual harassment may be hesitant to embrace — a donation from CBS would speak volumes and carry a different kind of weight.
Ultimately, the result of this open letter remains to be seen. But, Time’s Up has made a bold move that perfectly encapsulates the cultural moment we are in. “As one of the world’s most powerful companies, you have a choice. You can cling to a status quo as it crumbles around you,” the Time’s Up statement read. “Or you can demonstrate what happens when true leadership embraces the future. Now is your opportunity to rise.”