It seems like the never ending carousel of powerful men being taken down for inappropriate sexual behavior has just swooped up yet another offender in CBS Executive Les Moonves.
Credit to Ronan Farrow whose reporting also brought down Harvey Weinstein. Note to sexual predators in positions of power: If you are out there, your time is coming because Ronan Farrow will find you!
In this case, Farrow has 30 — yes, 30! — women making allegations of sexual misconduct.
If you have not read through the entire list of allegations from the multiple women Farrow spoke to, I highly suggest you do so, though I must warn you that it will be tough to get through without being completely horrified.
For instance, actress Illeana Douglas says that Moonves called her into his office in 1997 while she was working on a pilot for CBS and asked to kiss her.
Douglas says she tried to keep the conversation professional but Moonves would not relent.
“In a millisecond, he’s got one arm over me, pinning me,” Douglas said, adding that Moonves was “violently kissing” her and then “pulled up her skirt and began to thrust against her.”
Douglas says she continued rejecting Moonves’ advances, which eventually lead to him screaming at her during rehearsals and telling her that she would “never work at this network again.”
Among other incidents reported by Farrow, was one involving writer Janet Jones, who claims she had to “shove Moonves off her after he forcibly kissed her at a work meeting.”
For his part, Moonves admitted trying to kiss Douglas but denied any sexual assault or retaliatory measures.
Moonves gave the following statement to the New Yorer, “Throughout my time at CBS, we have promoted a culture of respect and opportunity for all employees, and have consistently found success elevating women to top executive positions across our company. 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.”
Perhaps Moonves is telling the truth, but 30 women seems lie a pretty clear pattern. We will see what happens from here, but it certainly does not loo good for Moonves and with the sleaze we keep uncovering on a regular basis about men in power, Lord only knows who is next.
Regardless, I truly hope this serves as some sort of warning to men in positions like Moonves— and Weinstein for that matter — but given how often these types of people are being exposed these days, I unfortunately think this may just be the tip of the iceberg.
And as a father of three daughters, that is a frightening thought.