LOS ANGELES – President of CBS Entertainment Kelly Kahl immediately addressed the tumultuous week the network faced on the heels of the sexual misconduct allegations against its CEO, Les Moonves.
“[It’s] obviously been a tough week at CBS,” he began. “I know there was some speculation we might cancel this,” he added.
“I struggle as well. Leslie has been an excellent boss and a mentor as well, at the same time we need to respect the voices that come forward.”
Upon opening up the floor to questions, Kahl was immediately hit with multiple questions from reporters regarding not only the Moonves allegations, but the many other incidents that have plagued the network, including sexual misconduct claims surrounding “NCIS” showrunner Brad Kern.
“I’m confident that the culture in the entertainment division is very safe,” said Kahl. "CBS is a welcoming environment. I don’t believe there is a one-size-fits-all investigation – the goal of any investigation is to get to the truth, and I believe they will get to the truth.”
Kahl’s statement and remarks come just days after Moonves participated in CBS’ quarterly earnings call and was never asked about the allegations, and while Kahl has only been in his current position since May 2017, he indicated that the network is committed to developing a workplace environment suitable for its employees.
“The scope of what I can talk about is limited… There is nothing more I can say about Les or the situation,” he said. “Not saying we’re perfect – no large company is and there is always room for improvement. We are committed to a collaborative, inclusive and safe workplace. Even with all that is going on around us, we are still running our business.”
The network's board of directors didn’t take immediate action following a meeting on Monday, instead announcing that outside counsel would conduct an independent investigation.
CBS announced on Wednesday that its investigation would be led by some high-powered attorneys -- Nancy Kestenbaum of Covington & Burling, and Mary Jo White of Debevoise & Plimpton.
Moonves’ wife, “The Talk” co-host Julie Chen, has stood by her husband publicly at every turn.
Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.