CBS STRIPS MOONVES OF $120 MILLION SEVERANCE PACKAGE
NEW YORK (AP) – CBS has blown a hole in Les Moonves’ golden parachute. The network says its former CEO will not be getting his $120 million severance package. The board made the decision after it concluded that Moonves violated company policy and was uncooperative with an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against him. The decision comes after a five-month outside investigation into the actions of one of TV’s most influential figures. But in the wake of his downfall, Moonves also becomes one of the biggest names to see his career shut down by the (hash)MeToo movement. Will Moonves try to get his money despite the decision by CBS? While one of his lawyers says the board’s conclusion is “without merit,” he didn’t say whether Moonves would challenge the decision in arbitration.
LES MOONVES – REACTION
NEW YORK (AP) – An official with the (hash)TimesUp movement says what happened to Les Moonves and CBS is an important warning for anyone who engages in sexual misconduct or harassment. Fatima Goss Graves says society has gotten to the point that as she put it, “even someone who has been perceived as untouchable will be held accountable.” And Graves, a co-founder of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, says she hopes “other corporations are learning” the same lesson CBS has. Its CEO Les Moonves was ousted in September after women alleged he subjected them to sexual mistreatment, including forced oral sex and groping – and retaliation if they resisted. The company has now decided to refuse to pay him a $120 million severance.
YAEL STONE ACCUSES GEOFFREY RUSH OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
NEW YORK (AP) – The latest claim of sexual misconduct pits a star of “Orange Is the New Black” against actor Geoffrey Rush. Yael Stone says Rush acted inappropriately toward her when they starred together in “The Diary of a Madman” in 2010. Stone told The New York Times Rush would dance naked in front of her in their dressing room, use a mirror to watch her shower – and on occasion send erotic texts. It gets a little complicated from there. Rush was 59 then and Stone was 25. And she says she “enthusiastically and willingly” replied to texts from her fellow Australian. But now she says she’s “embarrassed” by the way she handled things back then – and wouldn’t tolerate that now. For his part, Rush says that the allegations “are incorrect and in some instances have been taken completely out of context” – and that he regrets it if he caused Stone any distress.
“TONIGHT SHOW” – PUERTO RICO
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show” is headed for Puerto Rico – for one night. The NBC show will air an episode next year from the U.S. territory – and the show will include an exclusive performance by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The creator and former star of “Hamilton” will step back into his role with a new touring cast that will be on the show Jan. 15. It is part of an effort to refocus the nation’s attention on Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The field of Oscar hopefuls has gotten a little shorter. The motion picture industry has released a series of shortlists for a number of less-prominent categories, like those for hair and makeup, score, original song and best documentary. The pared-down list has kept left a number of movies you may have heard of in the running. For example, in the documentary category, the Ruth Bader Ginsburg movie “RGB” and the Fred Rogers film “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” have made the cut. Oscar nominations will be announced next month, with the winners to be announced Feb. 24.
ALFONSO RIBEIRO SUING OVER “THE CARLTON DANCE”
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Alfonso Ribeiro used to get laughs with his “Carlton Dance” on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” But now he wants to get paid. The actor is suing the creators of Fortnite and NBA 2K for using his dance in their video games. In separate lawsuits, Ribeiro has targeted Take-Two Interactive, which makes NBA 2K and Epic Games, which makes Fortnite. He claims in the suits that the dance is being used without permission or credit. To further protect the moves, Ribeiro says he’s taking steps to copyright the dance. So far, Epic Games and Take Two haven’t responded to requests for comment.
MEGHAN MARKLE ASKED TO PHONE HOME
LONDON (AP) – Megan Markle is getting the same request “ET” did – phone home. The request in this case comes from her dad, Thomas Markle. He claims he hasn’t spoken to his daughter since she married Prince Harry in May. Markle’s dad says the former actress now known as the Duchess of Sussex has ignored his attempts to get in touch. He says he loves his daughter and “would really appreciate” it if she’d call. Thomas Markle says he feels he’s been “ghosted” by his daughter in part because she and Harry have been swayed by media reports about him.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2