Shares of US television network CBS Corp tumbled 6.3 per cent to $53.88 midday on Friday after the Hollywood Reporter said that the New Yorker magazine would soon publish a claim that CBS chief executive officer Les Moonves has been accused of sexual harassment. CBS said in a statement that it would investigate the claim. “Upon the conclusion of that investigation, which involves recently reported allegations that go back several decades, the Board will promptly review the findings and take appropriate action,” CBS said in a statement.
Reuters could not immediately reach Moonves for a comment. The New Yorker did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment. The allegations involve incidents that go back, in part, more than 20 years, the Hollywood Reporter said, citing sources with knowledge of the matter who it did not identify.
“The timing of this report comes in the midst of the Company’s very public legal dispute,” the CBS statement added. “While that litigation process continues, the CBS management team has the full support of the independent board members” CBS added.” A CBS spokesperson had no further comment. CBS has been involved in a legal dispute between the board of CBS Corp and its controlling shareholder National Amusements Inc, owned by the Redstone family, which wants to merge it with Viacom Inc. Multiple accusations of sexual misconduct against politicians, business leaders and entertainers in the US have been made in the past year, leading to resignations, often inspired by the #MeToo social movement.