Veteran exec Peter Golden is departing his longtime post as head of casting at CBS, Variety has learned. The move follows complaints to human resources about Golden’s behavior made by members of the CBS casting department. It also comes just months after Golden’s name surfaced in reporting on sexual-misconduct allegations against ousted CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, and fewer than two weeks after a former CBS executive wrote in Variety that Golden discouraged the casting of minority actors in CBS television shows.
To Variety‘s knowledge, none of the complaints made against Golden are related to sexual misconduct.
Sources tell Variety that in one HR complaint, Golden was alleged to have complained to another member of the casting department that casting had become too thorny a process, and that he wished it could be as simple as it was when CBS cast “How I Met Your Mother” and the network did not have to worry about “other issues.”
In another HR complaint, Golden was alleged to have asked a staffer in the casting department whether they thought an actor was “too gay” to appear on CBS. In addition, according to sources, he has been accused of verbally abusing staffers.
A CBS spokesperson confirmed that Golden is leaving his position as head of casting, but declined to comment on the complaints to human resources. Variety made multiple efforts to reach Golden, who did not respond to requests for comment.
Golden joined CBS in as a casting executive in 1996, shortly after Moonves joined the network. He has served since 2004 as executive vice president of casting.
Golden’s name surfaced in a November report in the New York Times, which alleged that, at Moonves’ request, Golden made a casting offer to an actress who had claimed that Moonves had sexually assaulted her. The offer was made prior to the actress, Bobbie Phillips, going public with her accusation. In the Times article, Golden denied involvement in the offer.
Then, in a letter last month titled “CBS Has a White Problem,” former CBS Entertainment diversity and inclusion executive Whitney Davis wrote that Golden “doesn’t find minority performers to be as talented as white actors,” and that he was resistant to casting performers who appeared in CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase and would claim that performers from the program “aren’t good enough, they’re too green or they aren’t ‘right’ for CBS.” In a statement to Variety at the time, Golden wrote, “The claims and innuendos made about me by Ms. Davis are categorically untrue.”