The sexual misconduct allegations levied against CBS CEO Leslie Moonves were the biggest topic at CBS’s day at the Television Critics Assn. press tour, held Sunday in Beverly Hills.
“Murphy Brown” executive producer Diane English addressed the Moonves claims Sunday during a panel promoting the show. “On behalf of everybody on our show, we take the allegations of sexual misconduct very seriously,” English told reporters. “Murphy Brown” originally aired on CBS from 1988 to 1998, with the last few seasons of its run overlapping with the beginning of Moonves’ time at CBS. The company last week announced that it has hired two outside law firms to investigate sexual-misconduct allegations against Moonves.
“We support the investigation fully,” English said, adding that “None of us have had any negative experiences in that regard at CBS,” adding, “as far as I know no one on my crew has.”
English also noted that prior to the publication of Moonves allegations, producers of the revived “Murphy Brown” wrote an episode based on the MeToo movement.
“It’s a powerful movement, we wanted to do it justice, and the episode title is ‘#MurphyToo,'” English said.
Talk of Moonves dominated CBS’ day at press tour. he women’s rights group Ultraviolet commissioned a digital mobile billboard truck to circle the Beverly Hilton, the site of the press tour, to demand that Moonves be fired. The billboard read: “We believe the women sexually harassed and assaulted by Leslie Moonves: Why doesn’t CBS? Fire Moonves now.”
In an article published in the New Yorker last week, Moonves was accused of sexual misconduct by six women, including actress Illeana Douglas, who claimed Moonves had her fired from a CBS pilot after she turned down his advances; writer Janet Jones, who alleges he assaulted her during a pitch meeting while Moonves worked at 20th Century Fox; and producer Christine Peters, who accused Moonves of making an advance to her when she was up for a job at CBS Films.
Moonves acknowledged a prior lapse in judgment in a statement to the New Yorker, but disputed other aspects of the report. “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,” he said.
The board of CBS has hired two different law firms to investigate the allegations, and formed a special committee to oversee the investigation.