CBS grants $A28m to women’s rights groups

There is news surfacing of other instances of sexual misconduct by top exec Les Moonves at CBS.CBS has pledged to give $US20 million ($A28 million) to 18 organisations dedicated to eliminating sexual harassment in the workplace as the network tries to recover from a scandal that led to the ouster of its top executive, Les Moonves.
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The announcement comes as the network’s crisis deepens, with details emerging from an ongoing investigation into Moonves’ conduct and news surfacing of other instances of sexual misconduct at CBS.

In the latest revelation, CBS acknowledged that it reached a $US9.5 million ($A13.2 million) confidential settlement last year with actress Eliza Dushku, who said she was written off the show Bull in March 2017 after complaining about on-set sexual comments from its star, Michael Weatherly.

The funds for the grants to the 18 organisations are being deducted from severance owed to Moonves under his contract, and the company had previously said the former CEO would have a say in which groups would receive the money.

CBS said its donation to the 18 groups will go toward helping expand their work and “ties into the company’s ongoing commitment to strengthening its own workplace culture.”

The 18 organisations issued a joint statement praising the donations as a first step while calling on CBS to disclose the results of the Moonves investigation and the company’s efforts to rectify practices that may have enabled misconduct.

“We thank CBS for these donations. We also recognise these funds are not a panacea, nor do they erase or absolve decades of bad behaviour,” the groups said.

Moonves was ousted in September after the New Yorker published allegations from 12 women who said he subjected them to mistreatment that included forced oral sex, groping and retaliation if they resisted. Moonves has denied having any non-consensual sexual relationships.

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