Everyone Who's Spoken Out Against Les Moonves

Photo: JB Lacroix/Getty Images.
CBS Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves is the latest media titan to be taken down following allegations of sexual misconduct. As CBS investigates the claims, six more women have come forward with similarly damning stories. While Moonves denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex, as well as claims that he purposefully hurt his accusers' careers, he is still stepping down from his position. But here's the thing: whether or not he receives his exit compensation (which would total around $120 million) hangs in the balance of CBS's investigation. Now, celebrities are using this limbo as an opportunity to speak out against the CEO and urge the network to make necessary changes.
The most recent words come from writer Linda Bloodworth, who was behind popular CBS shows like M*A*S*H and Designing Women. She was there when Moonves first took over, and her frustrating yet funny essay in The Hollywood Reporter reveals the ways Moonves allegedly drove her off the network due to an unexplained personal vendetta.
While CBS has named six new board members and promised to donate $20 million to organizations in support of the #MeToo movement, Bloodworth's frustration has been echoed by celebrities all over — including those still at the network who are speaking up in hopes of creating change from within. Ahead, read everything they've had to say.
CBS didn't immediately respond to Refinery29's request for comment.
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).
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Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images.
Stephen Colbert

On Monday night, Colbert called out Moonves and the new allegations against him in his opening monologue on CBS's The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

"Anyway, the article is extremely disturbing, and, um, I'm not surprised," Colbert said. "That's it. Les Moonves is gone...for at least nine months until he does a set at the Comedy Cellar."
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Photo: Gary Gershoff/Getty Images.
Gayle King

Over on CBS News on Tuesday, Gayle King called out the network for not releasing the findings of its investigation into Moonves.

"I'm sick and sick of the story and sickened by everything that we keep hearing," King said on-air Tuesday. "But the part you mentioned about transparency is very disturbing to me because I would think, how can we have this investigation and not know how it comes out?...In our own house, we must have transparency."
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The Talk

King's comments were backed up by the hosts of The Talk (which normally include Moonves' wife Julie Chen, who is taking a break amidst the controversy). They, too, called for transparency from the network.

"Secrecy causes more questions," Sheryl Underwood said. "Transparency brings clarity...How do we make sure this never happens again? We need to get to solutions."

"I don't like it, because the situation is every other person who's a powerful CEO of a public company can do the same thing if it happens again," Sharon Osbourne said. "How are women ever going to feel comfortable in the workplace if they still think that power and money will be held over their heads?… It's never going to end. It shouldn't be allowed for anybody to have the verdict kept sealed. It's not fair to women. It will never end."

"I feel like it would be difficult to work at a company feeling like things aren't going to be told, if things go wrong or things are done that put women or anyone in a compromising position. You want to feel like it's going to become public," Sara Gilbert said. "I also feel like these women were very brave in speaking what their truth is and so if the stories are true ... they deserve to be corroborated. Les is saying they're not true, so I would think, in equal measure, he would want the results put out."

"The truth needs to be told," Eve agreed. "Transparency helps the fear to go away. … There should be no more fear of telling your story and sharing your story, so transparency is needed."
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Photo: JB Lacroix/Getty Images.
Linda Bloodworth

Bloodworth's whole essay is powerful, but this part in particular stands out:

"Over the years, even when an actress managed to get one of my scripts through an agent, the deal would immediately be killed. It was like a personal vendetta and I will never know why. Was it because I was championing the New South? Or an admittedly aggressive, feminist agenda? Or both? When the legendary Bette Midler informed Moonves that she wanted to do a series with me, I’m told he denied her request. When the singer Huey Lewis, whom Les had become enamored with, chose me to write a pilot for him, his contract was canceled."
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Photo: JC Olivera/Getty Images.
Judd Apatow

"Les Moonves should be in prison," the director tweeted.
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Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images.
Rachel Bloom

"As an employee of CBS, I would just like to say that Les Moonves should be fired without getting a fucking dollar," the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend creator and star tweeted. "The actions described in this article are those of sexual assault and shame on anyone else in the corporation who knew about his crimes."
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Here's a full message to CBS from Time's Up.
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Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic
Jane Fonda

“It’s a shame he didn’t behave, [but now] it’s come back to get him,” she told Variety. “This has been happening for a long time and it’s been an epidemic of behavior like this on the part of people who have power. I think the #MeToo movement has started an avalanche. And it’s only the beginning.”

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