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Mo Ryan @moryan
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*THREAD* One thing I thought about when I read this story: Most of the executives, EPs, etc who came up & were rewarded within the culture Les Moonves created are still at CBS. Are they all bad? No. Is CBS "fixed" now that Les is gone? Far fucking from it. nytimes.com/2018/11/28/bus…
I got time today. So let's take a trip in the wayback machine. I'm going to do a timeline on all the major reporting on alleged misconduct by various individuals at CBS. Ahem, "alleged." [stares into the distance meaningfully] Here we go:
Last November, allegations surfaced regarding Jeremy Piven, then the star of a (later cancelled) CBS program, Wisdom of the Crowd. Allegations detailed here usatoday.com/story/life/peo… and here buzzfeednews.com/article/krysti…
Nov 2017: Over at @washingtonpost, allegations against CBS morning & CBS news personality Charlie Rose were reported thoroughly washingtonpost.com/investigations… More stories came out there & elsewhere later. Profoundly dispiriting and horrible stuff (esp his alleged actions toward WOC)
Dec 2017: First story about multiple HR investigations into NCIS New Orleans showrunner Brad Kern. More than a dozen sources, a number of them on the record. variety.com/2017/tv/news/b…
In May 2018, CNN reported extensive allegations regarding Morgan Freeman, actor and EP on CBS' Madame Secretary. cnn.com/2018/05/24/ent…
May 2018: Longtime NCIS star Pauley Perrette tweets and then deletes disturbing allegations vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018…
May 2018: The Wrap does a follow up on the Perrette/NCIS situation thewrap.com/ncis-mess-paul…
I'm not going to lie, one of the things Pauley wrote (then deleted) broke my heart. "There is a ‘machine’ keeping me silent." Given what we now know about Moonves et al, does anyone doubt the truth of that statement?
May 2018 More reporting on CBS' Charlie Rose, including the revelation that managers and others were allegedly told. And no one acted to protect employees. washingtonpost.com/charlie-roses-…
June 2018 Showrunners of Star Trek Discover fired, in part for alleged verbal abuse. hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/star… Given what I'd reported on Brad Kern, this one threw men. He'd been the center of multiple allegations reported to HR, at risk to many people's careers.
Just want to add, I do not condone abuse or toxicity of any kind on any show, ever. But I was like, the fuck? STD showrunners were gone in what seemed like a heartbeat, but the Kern stuff kept dragging on, as more & more folks quit or were (uh, allegedly) targeted & fired.
June 2018: Think about it. Several months into the #MeToo movement, after months of reporting on toxicity/harassment of many (incl among many at CBS) -- & WHEN CBS KNEW RONAN WAS WORKING ON A MOONVES STORY -- CBS decides to give Brad Kern a brand new deal. hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/brad…
By that point, there had been several negative stories about Kern & entire NCIS franchise. I will never shut up about this: CBS ACTIVELY DECIDED TO GIVE KERN A NEW DEAL. No one else cd run NCIS NOLA, I guess. All the creatives driven away not a factor in their thinking I guess.
Aug 2018 First @RonanFarrow story comes out about Moonves. It's as well reported and hard to read as everyone imagined it would be (it had been rumored for many months) newyorker.com/magazine/2018/…
Aug 2018 @ErikWemple followed up Ronan's first Moonves story with even more allegations regarding Jeff Fager and the culture at 60 Minutes washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wem…
Aug 2018 I wrote another story tying CBS, Moonves and Brad Kern together, talking about the problematic culture that would be left even if LM left. A very well placed source told me Moonves remained defiant. Some longtime cronies who were on his side were urging him to fight.
This is the swagger culture created under Les Moonves' watch: Fight. Everyone else is wrong. CBS is great, they're just haters. We make money, that's what matters. This mindset led to LM staying on after 1st Ronan story, that led to Brad Kern getting a new deal despite everything
Sept 2018 Ronan drops another New Yorker story newyorker.com/news/news-desk… "This is just how it is" was something you hear/heard a lot in Hollywood. Nah. It doesn't have to be. People had to turn a blind eye for this pattern to keep happening. They chose to do that. That's on them.
Sept 2017 You think that culture didn't go right to the top? "I don’t care if 30 more women come forward and allege this kind of stuff,” [board member Arthur] Kopelson said in a meeting. “Les is our leader and it wouldn’t change my opinion of him.” nytimes.com/2018/09/12/bus…
Sept 2018 (Sorry previous tweet was 2018 also) Fager finally let go over a threatening text. washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-… A threatening text to a WOC. Women of color rare in top tiers of media & yet Fager felt absolutely free to do this & thought he'd be protected. Makes you think.
Oh no, i'm not done.
really fucking up my invite to the CBS holiday mixer, oh well
Oct 2018 It was alleged that CBS comedy/late night executive Vinnie Favale made offensive comments cnn.com/2018/10/03/ent…
and he was placed on leave variety.com/2018/tv/news/c…
Oct 2018 Allegations of abuse and physically inappropriate actions were made regarding Greg St. Johns, the DP for CBS' Criminal Minds. Exhaustive & excellent reporting from @gdanielholloway variety.com/2018/tv/news/c…
Oct 2018 Dan Holloway followed up with a necessary piece on how below the line talent is especially vulnerable to abuse and harassment. That story has barely BEGUN to be told. I've heard a lot about this from sources too scared to speak publicly. variety.com/2018/biz/news/…
Oct 2018 CBS EP Brad Kern finally fired. AFTER he got a new contract. AFTER dozens were driven away or fired. AFTER I'd reported that many contacted by CBS' outside counsel in the course of summer investigation found that investigator unhelpful at best hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/ncis…
Oct 2018 According to TV Line, Bob Kushell, EP on a new CBS comedy, was fired for alleged misconduct tvline.com/2018/11/05/bob…
That brings us to Nov 2018, and this story by @nytimes about Moonves' alleged attempts to cover up & forestall a survivor coming forward nytimes.com/2018/11/28/bus… No wonder he thought he'd survive all this. Hadn't he been bulletproof for decades?
Aug 2018 To his credit, Kelly Kahl of CBS took the TCA stage before TV journalists. It was a hard session. I still have an issue with a statement he made: "I feel very good, very confident, that CBS Entertainment is a welcoming and safe culture." Look at **just the last year**
If you think I am saying every CBS employee, contractor or executive is terrible, you've missed the point entirely. Of course there are good folks. BUT UNLESS THE CULTURE CHANGES RADICALLY & toxicity is rooted out continually, the good people can't do their jobs. They'll leave.
I spent the better part of a year talking to people who had been or are currently connected to CBS. What are they supposed to think when people in comedy, drama, late night, morning, news & C-suite are ALL implicated in either engaging in or enabling toxic & harassing behavior?
I had a few people at CBS -- on and off the record -- repeat the talking point that those who had issues should go to HR. Uh, the HR that did exactly jack shit about the litany of harassment, toxicity & abuse just in this thread (and that's just the stuff we know about)? Come on.
Also, this is what I was able to gather on one network with a free hour. Could similar threads be written about other Hollywood entities? Yes. CBS might be on one end of the toxic-bro-enabling culture, but that part of the spectrum is not sparsely populated. Still.
Employees need more safeguards esp in Hwd, where balance of power is always way out of whack and most employees have NONE. Did a thread partly on this topic a month ago:
Regarding Hollywood, we are still in the early stages of exposing the widespread abuse & toxicity that is enabled *and still celebrated in some quarters.* These cultures will take MUCH more work to *alter.* Reporting on creeps is hard; changing the industry will be much harder.
Headline of this piece from Oct by @jessicagolds says it all, really: "CBS’ failings show how deep misogynist rot runs in entertainment." I'd expand that thought to include LGBTQ bias & racial bias as well. They're all alive & well in this industry I love thinkprogress.org/cbs-moonves-ke…
Forgot to link to my Vulture piece on CBS in the midst of the thread. Here it is. vulture.com/2018/08/les-mo… I still believe this, very very strongly: Institutional change is the hardest step, and that aspect of things hasn't truly been tackled in a sustained & meaningful way.
Also I had a wonky link above: This is an additional story about CBS exec Favale: variety.com/2018/tv/news/c…
And now, to coffee (and cocktails later)
I'm going to add to this thread -- let's call it THE ROT GOES DEEP thread -- every time there are new revelations about CBS Corp and its culture of impunity for powerful men. Once again I feel absolutely SICK and enraged by reporting on what has gone on there for DECADES.
This story reveals yet another Moonves survivor and the conclusions of the law firms investigating Moonves -- who concluded he attempted to impede their investigation. There's a lot of sickening, depressing information in this NYT report nytimes.com/2018/12/04/bus…
And now this: Not only did 60 Minutes have an atmosphere in which abusive, assaulting men flourished, former 60 Minutes top exec Don Hewitt allegedly repeatedly sexually assaulted a women. I would say it's unbelievable, but read the fucking thread above nytimes.com/2018/12/06/bus…
Just going to add this oldie but goodie to the thread. There's are a whole bunch of complicit people at CBS who should go to fucking jail.
Before latest Moonves & 60 M pieces came out, I wrote this op-ed about how Hollywood has avoided institutional reform or change. From that story, keep in mind that THIS LIST OF CBS CORP-CONNECTED PERSONS ACCUSED OF ASSAULT/HARASSMENT IS NOT EVEN COMPLETE hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/holl…
CBS' (&much of Hollywood) attitude: Just get the shows out. Showrunners, powerful execs have impunity, as long as money rolls in & shows get made on time & more or less on budget. They don't care who gets blackballed, shut out, driven out, harassed, assaulted. They. Don't. Care.
Do these big media companies care about bad PR, unfortunate optics? Sure. Do they care enough to change their cultures and systematically drive out and keep out abusive monsters, harassers and their lackeys? A few do. And the rest?
A few good souls in Hollywood want to do the right thing & do try to do the right thing. Many are sabotaged daily. Many/most in Hwd waiting it out & hoping horrifying stories go away & the whole thing recedes into the background. Without institutional, systematic reform, it will.
As I said in op-ed, unless the ent. industry guilds do much more, nothing will change. Varying personal & corp efforts to change Abuse Culture will falter without institutional reform backing them. Guild members pay dues to be protected. They should be protected from abuse & bias
Guilds kicking out their own members who've abused others, guilds holding to account members of other guilds who are abusive & resistant to change -- it won't fix everything. Not by a long shot. But it's a fucking start. And it's more protection than rank & file workers have now.
There are some unions who protect abusers just like any big studio or network. It'll take years, if it goes anywhere, but guild members must push for these reforms, IMO, and vote in candidates who'll do the things that the studios won't. Otherwise, again, what are those dues FOR?
Part of why I'm angry is all the stories I've heard over the last year--& they keep rolling in. If I can be real, pls don't tell me any new ones--I'm at my limit. But I know a lot of shit that people don't want to make public (yet). Frontline workers are hurting. They need help.
That help will not come from studios or networks or big corporations. The media, as I've said many times, cannot be Hollywood's de facto monster-weeding-out machine forever. That's NOT a solution. The only other option is the guilds looking out for their own. Without that... 😬
I have been lucky enough to get to know so many stellar writers, artisans, artists (& yes, executives) working in Hollywood. But I'm sick of knowing how many hard workers & capable folks have been damaged & driven away from their dreams by monsters. Enough.
The harassment of Eliza Dushku as described in this damning, awful story is part of an ongoing pattern at CBS. Read the thread I've assembled here for more on the culture & problems at CBS nytimes.com/2018/12/13/bus…
Wrote this 2 weeks ago. Still relevant. Probably for a long fucking time. "The industry needs to stop assuming that things will change if we take out a few bad apples. Folks, the whole barrel of apples is rotten." hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/holl…
If you're looking for great non-fiction books/gifts etc, these 2 books are relevant to this thread/topic on CBS & Hollywood toxicity. Stealing the Show & Just the Funny Parts are both very enjoyable reads. But they're also about widespread misogyny in TV variety.com/2018/tv/column…
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