CBS to dock Les Moonves’ severance, give millions to women’s rights groups

In the face of multiple sexual misconduct accusations and the ouster of CEO Les Moonves, CBS on Friday announced that it would be giving $20 million to 18 women’s rights organizations. The money for the grants to the groups will reportedly be deducted from severance owed to Moonves under his contract.

The company had previously said Moonves, who resigned in September following multiple sexual misconduct claims, would have a say in which groups would receive the money.

CBS said its donation to the 18 groups would go toward helping expand their work and "ties into the company's ongoing commitment to strengthening its own workplace culture."

Among the recipients are Catalyst, a 56-year-old organization dedicated to empowering women in the workplace, and several groups that have emerged as prominent voices since the downfall last year of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, which triggered an avalanche of sexual misconduct allegations against powerful men across several industries.


The 18 organizations 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 recognize these funds are not a panacea, nor do they erase or absolve decades of bad behavior," the groups said.

Moonves' alleged actions were not the only ones the network had to deal with recently. Two other major figures at CBS have lost their jobs in the past year over misconduct allegations: "60 Minutes" top executive Jeff Fager, and star news anchor Charlie Rose.

The New York Times reported just this week that Moonves “destroyed evidence pointing to his own sexual misconduct when he was running the network,” that an actress on one of its highest-rated programs was paid $9.5 million after accusing "Bull" co-star Michael Weatherly of sexual harassment, and that the Tiffany Network reached a settlement with three women who accused CBS of turning a blind eye to Rose’s pervy behavior.

Fox News' Brian Flood and The Associated Press contributed to this report.