CBS didn’t overlook the elephant in the room during Monday’s news broadcasts. On the first day back to work following the bombshell sexual harassment allegations against CBS CEO Les Moonves— allegations that were detailed in a scathing exposé by The New Yorker—both CBS This Morning and The Talk addressed the network scandal at the top of their broadcasts.
Moonves’ wife, longtime CBS employee Julie Chen, wasted no time in speaking about the allegations about her husband during Monday’s episode of The Talk. Chen, who previously stated that she “fully” stands by her husband of 14 years, kicked off Monday’s edition of her long-running CBS chatfest by addressing the headline-making news report head-on, but also making it clear she will not be talking about it ever again.
“Some of you may be aware of what’s going on in my life the past few days. I issued the one and only statement I will ever make on this topic on Twitter, and I will stand by that statement today, tomorrow, forever.”
The CBS host, who is also in the thick of hosting the CBS summertime reality show Big Brother, took to Twitter in defense of her husband on Friday, describing him as “a kind, decent and moral human being” and a devoted husband and father.
Earlier in the day, CBS This Morning correspondent Anna Werner had the unpleasant task of reporting the bad news about her boss.
In the CBS This Morning report, Werner detailed the accusations by six women, some of them former CBS stars, against Les Moonves. The CBS correspondent revealed that the network’s CBS board of directors is expected to meet Monday to discuss the allegations and whether Moonves should step down from his high-powered position at the network. According to CNN Money, CBS News also briefly covered the allegations against Moonves on Friday night, shortly after The New Yorker’s story published, and over the weekend.
In a statement about the allegations, which included unwanted kissing, touching, and threats to women that date back to the 1980s, Moonves admitted that “there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances.” While Moonves said he regretted his mistakes, he maintained that he “always understood and respected — and abided by the principle — that ‘no’ means ‘no.'” Moonves added that he never misused his position at CBS “to harm or hinder anyone’s career.”
CNN Money noted that the straight-up CBS This Morning segment, which also detailed allegations against longtime 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager, was in stark contrast to the more personal way the morning show handled the report on the sexual misconduct allegations against Charlie Rose last year. During the report, Norah O’Donnell called for a “frank and honest assessment” of her colleague’s behavior, while Rose’s former co-anchor Gayle King said point blank, “Charlie does not get a pass here.”