USC has suspended Leslie Moonves from the School of Cinematic Arts’ Board of Councilors, the latest fallout following a New Yorker exposé in which six women accused the CBS chairman and CEO of sexual misconduct.
“The USC School of Cinematic Arts has suspended Les Moonves from its Board of Councilors,” the school just announced in a statement. “The School takes the recent allegations very seriously and will discuss further action when the Board convenes in October.”
The latest action stems from last week’s New Yorker story in which six women accused the powerful television executive of unwanted sexual overtures that spanned decades, saying they suffered professionally after rebuffing his advances. Actress and writer Illeana Douglas told The New Yorker she was fired from a series and told that she would never work at the network again.
The CBS board of directors voted Monday to retain an outside counsel to conduct an independent investigation of the allegations raised in the expose, allowing Moonves to remain on the job, while the third-party conducts its probe.
Moonves released a statement to the New Yorker in response to the allegations.
“I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances,” Moonves told the New Yorker. “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.”
CBS issued a statement saying it takes allegations of workplace misconduct seriously, but added, “We do not believe, however, that the picture of our company created in The New Yorker represents a larger organization that does its best to treat its tens of thousands of employees with dignity and respect.”