Leslie Moonves, the ousted CEO of CBS Corp. who has been accused of sexual misconduct by several women, is no longer serving on the boards of trustees of the American Film Institute and the Paley Center for Media. For now, Moonves retains his seat on the board of gaming company ZeniMax Media.
The appointments on the AFI and Paley Center boards were essentially honorary, but Moonves’ exit from those organizations after years of involvement is a reflection of his fall from grace in the entertainment industry. The Paley Center, previously known as the Museum of Television & Radio, was established by CBS founder William S. Paley. (A rep for Moonves declined to comment.)
According to a rep for AFI, Moonves offered his resignation from the board of trustees in October. The nonprofit org’s charter is to preserve the heritage of motion pictures, recognizing filmmakers and TV creators and their work through programs including the AFI Life Achievement Award and the AFI Fest.
Moonves also in October resigned from the Play Center for Media’s board of trustees, a Paley Center rep confirmed. In the Paley Center’s Dec. 3 announcement of new board appointees, Moonves was omitted from the list of current trustees, and he’s no longer listed on the institution’s page of current trustees. Founded in 1975, the organization hosts events for media and entertainment professionals and maintains a permanent media collection with more than 160,000 TV and radio programs and ads.
Moonves has served on the board of ZeniMax since 1999 when the company, whose divisions include Bethesda Software and Id Software, was founded. Other board members include Jerry Bruckheimer; ZeniMax CEO/chairman Robert A. Altman; Cal Ripken Jr.; and Robert S. Trump, brother of President Donald Trump. A ZeniMax spokesman declined to comment on Moonves’ current status.
Moonves is widely expected to be denied a $120 million severance package from CBS after revelations of his past conduct have come to light over the past four months.
Last week, the New York Times detailed a draft report prepped for the CBS board alleging that Moonves misled investigators working on behalf of CBS Corp. who found evidence that he “engaged in multiple acts of serious nonconsensual sexual misconduct in and outside of the workplace, both before and after he came to CBS in 1995.” That probe was launched following New Yorker reports in late July and early September in which a dozen women alleged Moonves harassed or assaulted them. The CBS board fired him on Sept. 9. Since then, even more women have come forward accusing Moonves of sexual harassment or assault.
Following the initial report about Moonves’ history of sexual misconduct, the USC School of Cinematic Arts suspended Moonves from its board of councilors. In addition, USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in August suspended the use of “The Julie Chen/Leslie Moonves and CBS Media Center” name, after previous a donation by the couple; the facility is now called USC Annenberg’s Media Center.