CBS president Kelly Kahl addressed the sexual misconduct allegations against the network’s CEO and chairman Leslie Moonves at the Television Critics Association press tour Sunday.
“Obviously, this has been a tough week at CBS,” Kahl said (via Deadline). “I’ve had many female colleagues come to me this week who’ve been saddened by what they’ve read about our company. They said it does not represent their experience at CBS. I’m not saying we’re perfect — no large company is — and there’s always room for improvement.”
Kahl continued, “In regards to Leslie, a few people at CBS have already attempted to put their thoughts into words. I think Terry Press, president of CBS films, wrote eloquently about the situation, and I think Stephen Colbert spoke thoughtfully and powerfully on his show this past week. I know they both struggled to express their feelings.”
Kahl has worked his entire television career under Moonves, who was accused of sexual misconduct by six women – including actress Illeana Douglas – in a New Yorker exposé by Ronan Farrow.
“I struggle as well. Leslie has been an excellent boss and a mentor for a long time. He put me in this job,” Kahl said. “At the same time, we must respect the voices that come forward. All allegations need to be and are being taken seriously.”
As for the specific allegations made in the New Yorker article, Kahl refrained from comment. “The scope of what I can talk about is limited,” Kahl said. “There is nothing more I can say about Les or the situation.”
CBS Board of Directors previously announced it had hired two separate law firms to investigate the allegations against Moonves as well as appointed a special committee of the board to oversee the investigation. Moonves also recused himself from serving as one of the commissioners for the Anita Hill-helmed Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace.