Ronan Farrow On CBS-Moonves: “This Was A Culture Of Protecting Powerful People”

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Investigative reporter Ronan Farrow is making the media rounds in the wake of his powerful New Yorker story in which six women accuse CBS CEO Leslie Moonves of sexual misconduct.

Speaking on CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront late Friday afternoonFarrow emphasized that the biggest point of the story was not the actions of Moonves, the individual.

“What’s so significant here is you’re dealing both with an individual who is at the top of his game, and on whom many, many other powerful people depend for their livelihoods, and also a corporation that is at the apex of of our culture, that shapes our news, that shapes our fiction that we consume,” said Farrow.

“And, as it turns out, in many facets of the company, we do say that there are a string of examples, manifested in litigation and complaints inside the company, where people said, ‘This happened to me, too.’ This wasn’t just Les Moonves. This was a culture of protecting powerful people.”

Farrow went on to say that the women he spoke with reported that Moonves’s advances “seemed practiced” and all continued to fear retaliation after the incidents. “What’s significant here is not just these very disturbing details – but this seems to be part of a pattern of retaliation.”

The CBS non-actions when notified about the incidents created “a culture of impunity,” Farrow insisted, “that couldn’t protect other women.” In the case of Illeana Douglas, whose accusations are one of the most revealing points of the New Yorker story, Farrow said, “Her feeling was that this was covered up, that everyone was telling her this is too powerful to confront.” He added, “Every woman in (the New Yorker report) tells a story that mirrors that.”

Farrow said that by telling the women’s tales, “taking down Les Moonves is not what’s important about the New Yorker story. It’s bringing light to these kind of stories, which I think will resonate both for women and men in many industries.”

Moonves said in a statement to the New Yorker that he “never used my position to harm anyone’s career.”



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