Moonves’ megabuck payout colors investigation
Les Moonves, the latest entertainment industry titan to be accused of sexual harassment and assault, announced his resignation as CEO of the CBS Network Sunday. On Monday, CBS revealed it has set aside $120 million as a “goodbye, good riddance” severance package — provided its investigation of the allegations against him prove he did nothing he should be fired for.
Chances are that Moonves won’t see any of that money. His resignation came after the New Yorker posted two articles in which 12 women detailed alleged mistreatment, including groping, retaliation for refusing sex and forced oral sex. If true, Moonves will walk away with only the millions he has already earned.
CBS has hired an outside law firm to investigate the allegations. One can’t help but wonder if the “golden parachute” hovering over the case might influence the outcome of this investigation. Does Moonves have a chance of proving his innocence with that kind of financial incentive to find him guilty?
The #MeToo movement that has brought down so many entertainment moguls and others is a powerful force, and it needs to be to change the entrenched powewrful predatory males in society.
But our legal justice system assumes the accused are innocent until proven guilty. Moonves and others who stand accused should be give a fair chance to defend themselves.