Former CBS Executive Calls Out Network’s ‘White Problem’ in Public Letter

Apr 23, 2019
3:08 PM

In the fall of 2018, after at least six women accused CBS CEO Leslie “Les” Moonves of harassment and sexual misconduct, the company began an investigation into these allegations, and other issues of discrimination. Since then, Moonves has been ousted. Now, Whitney Davis, a former CBS executive wrote a letter for Variety detailing how the investigation prompted her to leave the company where she had built a career.

“I talked about a workplace fraught with systemic racism, discrimination and sexual harassment. My understanding was that there would be follow-up and long-awaited reforms as their discovery continued. Yet I heard nothing again from investigators, and soon saw that their report had been leaked to the media before the board had reviewed its findings,” she writes in the letter.

She also described experiences of microaggression.

“One ‘CBS Evening News’ senior producer always wanted to touch my hair while sharing an inappropriate sexual joke,” she said.

David also called out issues of discrimination against people of color, including Latinos. She said: “There is not one executive of color working in casting at CBS. The one Latinx executive hired in casting last year lasted eight months. He works at Netflix now.” In 2017, the company pledged to hire more Latinos after a meeting with the National Latino Media Council.

On the website for CBS’ diversity council, the company claims, ” Diversity is a business imperative. It is only when you create an environment where inclusive voices are at the table and involved in the decision-making process that you reach the most effective and innovative business solutions, and that must be an intentional process.”

You can read Davis’ full letter at Variety here.