Katie Couric is one of several women whom have decided to take a stand against the behavior of CBS CEO, Les Moonves. Katie Couric says CBS is a ‘Boys Club’, where a number of talented women seemed to be marginalized and undervalued.”
Couric also says that the environment at CBS not only encouraged lewd and abusive behavior, but that Moonves actively engaged in these tactics.
Couric worked at the network between 2006 and 2011.
Another former employee, a female associate producer, told the New Yorker that CBS:
“Is an old network. Everything in there feels old; the people, the furniture, the culture, the mores.”
“I had several producers and editors over the age of sixty who would greet me by kissing me on the mouth… I had people touch my butt a couple times. (60 Minutes producer Jeff) Fager seemed to encourage that climate. It wasn’t even that he turned a blind eye toward it.”
Katie Couric says CBS is a ‘Boys Club’, while other employees describe the atmosphere at CBS like a “frat house.” Many of them allege that Fager would get handsy at employee functions, especially after a few drinks. The women were not allowed to say anything.
A former 60 Minutes producer said:
It was always ‘Let’s go say hello to Jeff’, ’cause you have to pay homage to him, but ‘let’s do it early in the evening, before he starts getting really handsy.'”
Fager has been denying the allegations, saying that the accusations are false and the result of unhappy ex-employees trying to get even.
However, the accusations date back. Illeana Douglas says that Fager attacked her during a 1997 interview, forcing her onto the couch, kissing her, pulling up her skirt and thrusting at her. Douglas says she refused his advances and was then fired and told she would never be allowed back at the network.
Moonves won’t admit to his guilt necessarily, but did issue an apology statement acknowledging that he did make some passes at women that they might have taken the wrong way. He also blamed the old-school Hollywood attitude for a lot of his behavior. In his words:
“I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely. But I always understood and respected – and abided by the principle – that ‘no’ means ‘no,’ and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone’s career. This is a time when we all are appropriately focused on how we help improve our society, and we at CBS are committed to being part of the solution.”
We’ll see what CBS decided to do with him in time.