CBS Casting Chief Peter Golden Exits Amid Controversy

Peter Golden-Publicity-P 2019
Monty Brinton/CBS

The head of CBS' casting department is leaving the network.

Peter Golden is stepping down effective immediately, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. Golden's name surfaced in connection with a pair of controversies about the network's culture in recent months.

CBS confirmed that Golden is departing the network, but declined further comment.

Golden was mentioned in a New York Times exposé about former CBS chief Les Moonves in which he was told to make a casting offer to actress Bobbie Phillips after Phillips claimed Moonves had sexually assaulted her. The actress went public with her allegation in the newspaper's November story.

Golden told THR that he didn't know the intent behind Moonves' request at the time.

In April, former CBS diversity and inclusion executive Whitney Davis said in an essay that Golden "doesn't find minority performers to be as talented as white actors," which Golden called "categorically untrue."

CBS has been criticized for its lack of onscreen diversity in the past, though it made some strides in 2018-19 by picking up several new series — including The Neighborhood, God Friended Me and Magnum P.I. — with actors of color in lead roles. 

Golden is one of several CBS executives and creatives who have left the network amid controversy in the past year, headlined by Moonves' ouster last September over multiple reports of sexual misconduct.

CBS Studios exec Vinnie Favale was placed on leave in October following allegations by nine people that he used inappropriate language in the workplace; former NCIS: New Orleans showrunner Brad Kern had an overall deal with CBS Studios terminated following multiple HR investigations into his behavior; the network fired co-showrunner Bob Kushell from its first-year comedy Fam over allegations of abusive behavior; and prior to Moonves' exit, CBS All Access dismissed Star Trek: Discovery showrunners Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts over similar allegations.

The network also paid actress Eliza Dushku a $9.5 million settlement after she reported being sexually harassed on the set of the network's drama Bull by lead Michael Weatherly.

Golden had been with CBS since 1996 and held the position of executive vp talent and casting since 2004.

Variety first reported the news of Golden's exit.