THE LATEST THINKING
The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.
Another one bites the dust.
Of all the people that have been accused of sexual improprieties, CBS head honcho Les Moonves comes as kind of a shock. At least outside looking in. He always seemed the perfect example of media mogul. Unless you’ve been in a cave, Moonves was, allegedly, far from perfect.
Even if a fraction of what is alleged is true (as of this writing the count is up to seven accusers), it’s clear Moonves has got to go. It’s the only respectable course of action.
These allegations must be taken seriously and the fact that the CBS board voted on Monday to keep Moonves in place is painfully disappointing. But what can you expect from a board that has eleven men and only three women, where the average age is 74? I’m almost surprised they didn’t reward Moonves with a box of cigars for “making it into the club”.
When the story about Moonves started popping up in the media last week, I was like a lot of people and started thinking things like, “Why are these accusations taking place now?”, “How do we know they’re not crying wolf?” and super dumb male over privileged things like that.
And then I had a good think on it and it became very clear that this type of sexual assault is evidently quite systemic. I know, “Well, yea. Duh.” Yes, we’ve heard the stories about Weinstein (not shocking), Brett Ratner (not shocking), Matt Lauer (not shocking) and on and on. Most of them, as awful as their behavior is alleged to have been, just weren’t too shocking.
On the other hand, Moonves was the blue-chip media executive who appeared to carry himself with a profound confidence that made him revered in the industry; and his acumen helped CBS become the juggernaut that it is today. Okay, maybe his programming was a little too CSI and NCIS heavy, but it worked. So, it is hard to imagine a guy like that, like Les Moonves, behaving like a drunk frat boy at midnight … or a presidential candidate (take your pick, quite a few to choose from).
He really seemed like a guy who would be above this sort of thing. I guess not. I also thought that when called out he would have the mettle to show more contrition than “I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances, …”
Mr. Moonves, being a creep at a bar trying to get a woman to pay attention would qualify as “uncomfortable”; what you're alleged to have done sounds more like assault. And that can’t be tolerated.
It’s becoming more evident that we men seem to behave abhorrently in far too many situations. That really needs to stop.
So yes, it’s a bummer to watch one of the most respected men in television get called out. But it’s infinitely worse for the women who’ve suffered his behavior.
On his own or by force, Les Moonves has to go.
Last week, The New Yorker published a bombshell report in which CBS Corp CEO Les Moonves was accused by six women...