Time’s Up Urges CBS to Donate Les Moonves’ $120 Million Severance

Organization calls on network to revamp corporate structure, workplace culture

Time’s Up urged CBS to enact sweeping corporate changes and donate the entirety of ex-CEO Leslie Moonves’ severance package to “organizations that address sexual harassment and workplace safety.”

Moonves resigned from his post Sunday after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct, including unwanted kissing, touching and exposing himself. According to Reuters, however, Moonves may still receive up to $120 million from CBS if “an internal investigation into allegations of harassment fails to provide grounds for his dismissal.”

In their open letter – addressed to CBS’ majority shareholder, Sumner Redstone, and the Board of the CBS Corporation – Time’s Up said of Moonves’ possible severance, “That is $120 million dollars that will either go to Mr. Moonves or back into the coffers of the company that allowed the culture created by Mr. Moonves to continue. Or that $120 million can create change by going to organizations – and there are many impactful organizations – that can help women of all kinds. The choice is yours. But the answer is obvious. We ask that you not dishonor the bravery of those who have come forward by spending that money unwisely.”

Elsewhere in the letter, Time’s Up encouraged CBS to not only revamp its corporate structure, but its workplace culture as well. They urged the board to commit to independent investigations of any allegations of sexual harassment, establish regular oversight of workplace culture and foster a work environment that “represents the values of safety, equity and dignity.”

The group also called on CBS to build a more diverse workplace, and to research and close any racial or gender pay gaps. While Time’s Up acknowledged the inclusion of several women on CBS’ recently refurbished board, they noted that “an opportunity for meaningful inclusion was missed. Women of color and other underrepresented candidates were not added to the board in ways that are reflective of CBS’s vast audiences.”

Time’s Up added, “Sexual harassment, retaliation and toxic work environments exist when workplaces are not fully diverse and inclusive at all levels and employees are not able to feel safe or reach their full potential,” the organization said. “Full, independent investigations of alleged wrongdoing and the departure of a few executives is only the start. Real progress can only occur with a transparent commitment to long-term structural changes from top to bottom.”