CBS executive Vinnie Favale has been placed on leave amid accusations that he used offensive and homophobic language in work situations.
In a report Wednesday by CNN, Favale, senior VP of talent at CBS Television Studios, was accused of having made multiple offensive remarks during meetings related to “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert between 2015 and 2018.
“I’ll never forget the day he told me he got four erections while watching Jennifer Hudson rehearse,” a former CBS executive told CNN, which reported that two other witnesses also heard Favale make the remark during the singer’s rehearsal for an appearance on “The Late Show.” CNN cited nine unnamed sources in its story.
Following publication of the report Wednesday, Favale was placed on leave by CBS.
“The comments reported in this story are offensive and not consistent with the standards we expect from our executives or the culture we want at CBS,” a CBS spokesperson said in a statement. “The network investigated a complaint for inappropriate language that was received in January 2016, and corrective action was taken. However, since concerned voices are speaking up nearly three years later, additional review is warranted. Mr. Favale has been placed on leave while we look into this situation further.”
CBS late-night host Stephen Colbert, whose “Late Show” was part of Favale’s oversight, addressed the situation during Wednesday’s broadcast of his program. “An article came out on CNN today about an executive at CBS, who used to be the liaison to this show. And there’s only one show on the East Coast, and it was us. He basically came with the building when I got this show and used to be around here a lot,” Colbert said during the program. “About six months into the show, some of our employees said they were uncomfortable with some things that he said, so we took their complaints to HR. They investigated twice, but I don’t really know what, if anything, happened. It seemed like someone was protecting this guy. I don’t know who it was. We eventually convinced the network to make a change.”