CBS This Morning anchor Gayle King called on CBS to release the findings of its investigation into alleged sexual misconduct by former CEO Les Moonves, saying the media company must have “full transparency.”
King notes that women have come forward “very credibly talking” about acts of sexual aggression by Moonves, who has denied any misconduct, claiming that any intimate contact was consensual. She said CBS needs to make its internal investigation public to clear the air.
“In our own house we must have transparency,” King said this morning.
CBS’ board of directors hired a pair of law firms to conduct an independent investigation following publication of an exposé by the New Yorker magazine, in which six women claimed Moonves made sexual advances on them in work settings, then retaliated when he was rebuffed. The longtime CEO resigned Sunday, after six more women came forward with more damaging accounts, which included allegations of forced oral sex.
“Les Moonves has been on the record, he says, listen, he didn’t do these things, that it was consensual, that he hasn’t hurt anybody’s career. I would think it would be in his best interests for us to hear what the report finds out,” King said. “On the other hand, you have women who are coming forward, very credibly talking about something that’s so painful and so humiliating. It’s been my experience that women don’t come out and speak this way for no reason. They just don’t. They just don’t do it.”
As part of Moonves’ severance agreement, CBS agreed to a confidentiality clause, in which it promised to keep the findings of its probe secret.
“I don’t know how we move forward if we don’t — we at CBS – don’t have full transparency about what we find,” said King.
The Moonves revelations follow reports last fall, in which multiple women accused former CBS This Morning host Charlie Rose of making crude sexual advances toward them, including lewd phone calls, walking around naked in front of them or groping them. CBS promptly fired Rose.
“I am sorry again that it hits so close to home for us,” King said. “I’m sick and sick of the story and sickened the by everything that we keep hearing.”
King expressed sympathy for Moonves’ wife, Julie Chen, host of The Talk and Big Brother.
“I feel for Julie Chen today. She’s in a very difficult position,” Kind said. “And Les Moonves has done wonderful things for this company, and we can’t forget that either. So, it’s just a bad situation all the way around.”