Les Moonves, Christiane Amanpour, Eataly Parental Leave: Broadsheet September 11
Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Christiane Amanpour takes over from Charlie Rose, Eataly offers paid parental leave to all its retail employees, and CBS’s board gives us a lesson in what not to do. Have a great Tuesday.
• 'Over the edge.' The new sexual assault and sexual harassment allegations against Les Moonves and the CBS CEO's resignation came as a one-two punch on Sunday, with his ouster announced just hours after Ronan Farrow's latest New Yorker investigation went live.
As we come down from that flurry of news, it's important to look back at a key detail of Farrow's story: that CBS's board knew in January of this year about a Los Angeles Police investigation into a claim by veteran TV exec Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb that Moonves had forced her perform oral sex on him in the 1980s, when the two worked together. (Moonves has called the article's accusations "untrue.") Farrow reports that some members of CBS's board were made aware of Golden-Gottlieb's claims some nine months ago, yet they did nothing. Then the New Yorker published Farrow's first story on Moonves's alleged sexual misconduct in August—and again, they essentially did nothing. Yes, CBS initiated a third-party investigation into Moonves's behavior, but he stayed on as chairman and CEO.
The board's failure to take substantive action calls to mind research TheBoardlist and Qualtrics published in April that found that of directors polled in February and March—months after this iteration of the #MeToo movement launched in earnest—57% still hadn't had a boardroom discussion about the phenomenon that was felling powerful male executives and prompting a social reckoning aimed at ending women's mistreatment in the workplace. Interestingly enough, female directors cited reluctance among their male counterparts as a reason for not airing the issue in full.
Directors who think there is no consequence for overlooking the #MeToo movement may want to learn a lesson from CBS's debacle.
Farrow told NPR on Monday that inaction by CBS's board after the initial Moonves allegations came to light prompted more women to come forward:
"The perception on their part that this board, the board of directors of this company, was not holding this individual accountable even after serial allegations of sexual assault had emerged, was enough for many of them to push them over the edge."
It is worth noting then that in addition to ousting Moonves as chairman and CEO (he will—rather appallingly—stay on as an unpaid advisor), CBS is revamping its board, with its roster of female directors doubling from three to six.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Oh no, O'Donnell. CBS anchor Norah O'Donnell, who already had to discuss the allegations against former co-worker Charlie Rose on-air (more on the latest Rose-related news below), also found herself addressing the departure of her ex-boss on CBS This Morning. Meanwhile, Moonves's wife, Julie Chen, announced that she's talking a break from her show, The Talk, to "be with [her] family."
• Amanpour hour. Ten months after Charlie Rose was fired from his longtime newshour for years of alleged sexual harassment, legendary journalist Christiane Amanpour is taking his place. Amanpour's show debuted Monday night and promises to be "brighter, livelier and more of the moment" than Rose's "procession of establishment guests and clubby atmosphere." New York Times
• Get cooking. If you're looking for fall cooking inspiration, check out Saveur. All the stories in the magazine's fall issue are about women—and all were written, photographed, and illustrated by women. Some highlights: a kimchi recipe passed down through generations, the dish on Filipino breakfasts, and a writer tracing her culinary and family history as black Canadians in Nova Scotia. Saveur
• Pasta for good. In other food news, the Italian grocer and restaurant Eataly will offer paid parental leave to all its employees. The decision is notable since most of Eataly's employees are retail workers not usually given parental leave. The policy applies to employees who have been with the chain for a year and provides four weeks of full pay followed by four weeks of pay at 60%. The move made sense to Eataly USA CEO Nicola Farinetti, who is from Italy and is used to more generous parental leave than U.S. companies offer. Fast Company
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Sarah Personette is Twitter's new head of Twitter client solutions. Judith Harrison, SVP, Diversity & Inclusion at Weber Shandwick, has been appointed as 2018-2019 President for New York Women in Communications. Rebecca Messina is the first global chief marketing officer at Uber. Google AI chief Fei-Fei Li is returning to her professorship at Stanford, but will still advise Google on AI and machine learning.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Going red. Democratic socialism has boomed in popularity since the 2016 election, and that growth is in large part thanks to women (like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez). Women in this story are behind a push to help the Democratic socialist movement take off in the Midwest. Refinery29
• Stoking fears. In the final days of campaigning for the Democratic nomination for New York governor, things are getting messy. The New York Democratic Party, on behalf of incumbent Andrew Cuomo, sent out a mailer targeted to Jewish voters characterizing Cynthia Nixon as anti-Israel and accusing her of "being silent on the rise of anti-Semitism." Cuomo said he didn't know about the mailer, and Nixon said it exploited real fears around anti-Semitism and hate crimes. New York Magazine
• Behind the wheel. NASCAR is still largely white and male at the wheel, but things are improving behind the scenes. A diversity program for pit crew members has shown significant results, with graduates going on to work for NASCAR for three years. Similar diversity initiatives for drivers have been much less successful. Ozy
• Spotted failure. New York chef Gabrielle Hamilton had announced a plan to take over The Spotted Pig from restaurateur Ken Friedman, accused of years of sexual harassment and a hostile culture at the popular West Village restaurant. The deal fell through, Hamilton told employees last week, calling the failure a "true heartbreak." The decision to work with Friedman had been questioned by many since Hamilton had been known as a champion of women in the restaurant industry. Eater
ON MY RADAR
Gretchen Carlson's Miss America 2.0 promised empowerment. It mostly delivered. Vox
In U.S. Open victory, Naomi Osaka pushes Japan to redefine Japanese New York Times
Women love baseball. Why doesn't baseball love them back? The Week
Learning from Laura Ingalls Wilder The Atlantic