Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Another Silicon Valley man felled by sexual misconduct stages a comeback, Jarvanka returns, and Les Moonves gets the Ronan Farrow treatment. Embrace your Monday.
• A waning Moonves? On Friday, The New Yorker‘s Ronan Farrow dropped yet another of his devastating and meticulously reported stories of sexual harassment in Hollywood—this one focused on Leslie Moonves, chairman and CEO of CBS and one of the most powerful men in the entertainment world. A few things to know as the repercussions unfold:
–Six women told Farrow that Moonves sexually harassed them at some point during the 80s, 90s, or aughts. “Four described forcible touching or kissing during business meetings, in what they said appeared to be a practiced routine,” writes Farrow. “Two told me that Moonves physically intimidated them or threatened to derail their careers.” (Four of the women agreed to allow the use of their full names in the story.)
–Perhaps not surprisingly, the alleged misbehavior at CBS seems not to be limited to Moonves himself. Thirty current and former CBS employees also spoke to Farrow, describing a culture of harassment, gender discrimination, or retaliation at the network.
–Moonves told the New Yorker: “I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely. But I always understood and respected—and abided by the principle—that ‘no’ means ‘no,’ and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone’s career.” And, a snippet from the CBS statement: “We do not believe, however, that the picture of our company created in The New Yorker represents a larger organization that does its best to treat its tens of thousands of employees with dignity and respect.”
–It’s worth noting that the report comes at a complicated time for the company, which is in the midst of a fight with its former parent company, Viacom. Long story short: Shari Redstone, daughter of mogul Sumner Redstone, who still owns the majority of both companies, wants to reunite the businesses. Moonves does not. (Farrow says all of the women in the story have said that “they were not motivated by any allegiance in the corporate battle.”)
–In what—I think—is an important reminder that the mistreatment of women and the fostering of a toxic culture will absolutely hurt a company’s bottom line, just the news that the report was imminent sent CBS’s stock down almost 10% on Friday afternoon.
–CBS immediately said that it would investigate the claims. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that some of the company’s directors spent the weekend talking about whether Moonves should step aside pending that investigation. The board is scheduled to meet today in advance of CBS’s upcoming earnings announcement and is expected to select a special committee to oversee the investigation of Moonves and the boarder allegations about the company’s culture.
–Stay tuned. We should learn more today.
The New Yorker
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Don’t call it a comeback. Sorry to start your Monday with back-to-back harassment stories, but this is important. Last year, Social Finance CEO Mike Cagney was ousted after an investigation found that he’d had (and lied about) two affairs with subordinates. Yet since then, Cagney has raised $58 million to start a new company—including from VCs who sat on SoFi’s board. And he’s not the only Silicon Valley man to make a comeback after losing a job amid the #MeToo movement. Why? Some investors will back a “seasoned” entrepreneur no matter what. As Nicole Sanchez, CEO of Vaya Consulting, told the Times: “It’s, ‘Can you make me money?’ It doesn’t really matter who gets hurt.”
New York Times
• Catching up with Jarvanka. This NYT piece asserts that “after 18 months of bruising internal White House conflicts and bitter criticism that they have failed to be a moderating influence on the president,” Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have found their D.C. footing and are once again on the rise. The story portrays the pair as “comfortable—and as close to the center of the president’s orbit—as they have ever been.”
New York Times
• Pregnant people hike too! In this op-ed, Amy Montemerlo Roberts, a dean and English teacher at the Packer Collegiate Institute—and, incidentally, the wife of my colleague Jeff John Roberts—writes about her struggles to find clothing designed for outdoor adventuring that she could wear while pregnant. As she discovers, most major outdoor retailers still don’t offer maternity items, leaving moms-to-be with few options.
• Black girl magic. Disney has acquired a pitch for Sadé, a live-action fairytale film about an African princess, based on an original idea by Ola Shokunbi and Lindsey Reed Palmer. While it’s too bad that the heroine has to be yet another princess (when can we retire that sad old trope?), it’s awesome to see a black girl in the starring role. The last Disney princess movie with a black female protagonist, The Princess and the Frog, came out back in 2009.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Papa John’s has named Olivia Kirtley, the company’s lead independent director, the board chair.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Statuesque. The New York Times asked readers to weigh in with suggestions for an important New York City initiative—adding more statues of women to the landscape of the city. Among their suggestions: Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to U.S. Congress; writer Zora Neale Hurston, and Antonia Pantoja, educator and activist for the Puerto Rican community.
New York Times
• Papers full of Posey. In the run-up to the release of Parker Posey’s new memoir, You’re On an Airplane, the Internet is awash with profiles of the indie film darling—and I’m here for it. This WaPo version follows Posey, clad in a red “turbanette” and clutching a Sharpie and cigarette, through a book party, and spends time lounging around her West Village apartment with a glass of cold red wine.
• A fashion force. As CEO of Yu Holdings, Chinese heiress Wendy Yu has invested in everything from designers to shopping tech to an eco-friendly handbag and accessories company. She’s also a patron of the arts, including endowing the Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute at the Met. Not surprisingly, the 28-year-old is starting to get a lot of attention from fashion industry’s biggest names.
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