RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
The CBS board of directors is meeting today. And there's a big question looming over that meeting - what to do about the man at the top. They're talking about Les Moonves. The corporation's chairman and CEO was the subject of a New Yorker article published on Friday. In that article, he was accused of sexual misconduct. It also raised questions about the company's corporate culture. NPR TV critic Eric Deggans has the story from Los Angeles.
ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: The claims against Moonves were a major topic of conversation at the TV Critics Association's summer press tour, where television creators, executives and performers reveal their new shows to journalists. Chuck Lorre, co-creator and executive producer of hit CBS shows like "The Big Bang Theory," "Two And A Half Men" and "Young Sheldon," said the issue was simple. Staffers should feel secure at work whether at corporate offices or in a writers' room.
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CHUCK LORRE: If you don't have a safe environment, you can't write. That fear just shuts everything down. And that writing room has to be a safe space. Otherwise, good stuff doesn't happen.
DEGGANS: Six women have accused Moonves of harassment in the New Yorker story. Some say he forcibly touched and kissed them, harming the careers of those who rejected him. Moonves has admitted he, quote, "may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances" but denies hurting anyone's career. TV writer and producer Dinah Kirgo pushed back against that denial. She told NPR's All Things Considered on Sunday, Moonves didn't hire her after she declined a private dinner with him.
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DINAH KIRGO: After he had been rebuffed by me, there was no offer forthcoming. If you're not getting employed because you've rebuffed somebody, that's damage.
DEGGANS: Even before the New Yorker story was published Friday, CBS's board announced it intended to investigate any claims. Now they must decide on details - who will conduct the investigation, whether the inquiry will focus on Moonves or the entire culture at CBS and whether the CEO should keep running the company while the investigation proceeds. Next Sunday in Los Angeles, CBS is scheduled to appear at the press tour to discuss its fall lineup of shows. They're sure to face questions about Moonves' future and the fate of the company. Eric Deggans, NPR News.
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