UltraViolet Praises Denial of $120 Million Severance Package for ex-CBS CEO Les Moonves

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, May 17, 2021
CONTACT: Anna Zuccaro | anna@unbendablemedia.com

UltraViolet Praises Denial of $120 Million Severance Package for ex-CBS CEO Les Moonves

Over the weekend, ViacomCBS announced that former CBS CEO Les Moonves will not receive a $120 million severance package from his firing in 2018. Moonves was ousted from CBS following numerous allegations of sexual harassment, sexual assault and abuse.

During a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, ViacomCBS said that the matter had been resolved and gave no further details.

In response to the news, Bridget Todd, communications director for UltraViolet, a leading national women’s advocacy group, issued the following statement:

“In 2018, UltraViolet members called for former CBS CEO Les Moonves to be fired without a golden parachute for sexual harassment and assault. Now, he’s out of a $120 million severance package. This is a big step in the right direction that should become standard practice. When abusers are exposed and pushed out of positions of power, they don’t deserve golden parachutes.

“We’re grateful to the survivors who courageously came forward about Les Moonves, to UltraViolet activists and the survivor justice movement for staying vigilant. Accountability isn’t everything, but is a necessary step toward stopping sexual violence and harassment in the workplace.

“This problem is not isolated to a small group of men like Les Moonves, Harvey Weinstein or Andrew Cuomo. In the past, our own laws and cultural institutions have worked in tandem to quietly punish survivors and reward abusers. Setting a precedent and norm that you lose your rights to severance if you harass or abuse your employees is a part of the structural change we need to make workplaces safe and equitable.\ UltraViolet members have proven that showing up for survivors creates meaningful consequences for abusers.”

Over the past two years, UltraViolet sent a letter to ViacomCBS’ Board of Directors demanding CBS hold Les Moonves accountable by firing him and avoiding a severance package. UltraViolet also:

Commissioned a mobile billboard to circle CBS’ press tour in Los Angeles reading “We Believe the Women Sexually Harassed and Assaulted by Leslie Moonves – Why Doesn’t CBS?”
Penned a letter to the CBS Board of Directors asking them to void Moonves’ settlement package and fire him for cause.
Called for the firing of 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager
Protested outside the CBS shareholder meeting in NYC calling on the Board of Directors to fire Moonves for cause and deny him a potential $120m golden parachute.

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