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The University of Southern California on Wednesday announced that Leslie Moonves has been suspended from the board of its School of Cinematic Arts in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations made against the CBS CEO.
“The USC School of Cinematic Arts has suspended Les Moonves from its Board of Councilors,” read the statement, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. “The School takes the recent allegations very seriously and will discuss further action when the Board convenes in October.”
USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is also temporarily removing the name of its student newsroom, which was been called the Julie Chen/Leslie Moonves CBS Media Center since it opened in 2015.
“In recognition of the sensitivities surrounding recent allegations against Mr. Moonves, he and Ms. Chen have requested that USC Annenberg temporarily suspend use of the media center’s name until the investigation concludes,” USC Annenberg said in a statement, per the Los Angeles Times.
USC’s announcements come after CBS said on Monday that the media company was taking no action against Moonves following the allegations. He will remain at work while outside counsel conducts an investigation.
Six women accused the embattled TV chief of sexual harassment and intimidation in a New Yorker article written by Ronan Farrow and published on Friday. Several of the women claimed the exec forcibly touched or kissed them during business meetings. One accuser, actress Illeana Douglas, claimed she was “fired for not participating” in Moonves’ alleged behavior.
Moonves denied the allegations in a statement. “I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances,” he said in part. “Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely. But I always understood and respected — and abided by the principle — that ‘no’ means ‘no,’ and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone’s career.”
On Monday, Moonves’ wife, Julie Chen, defended him while speaking on The Talk.
“Some of you may be aware of what’s been going on in my life the past few days. I issued the one and only statement I will ever make on this topic on Twitter. And I will stand by that statement today, tomorrow, forever,” the co-host said, referring to a tweet in which she described Moonves — with whom she shares an 8-year-old son, Charlie — as a “devoted husband and inspiring corporate leader.”
On Wednesday, Time’s Up weighed on the scandal, demanding a “full, transparent and expedient” investigation into the claims. “Six women have courageously shared their stories and accused CBS Les Moonves of sexual harassment and assault,” the women’s fund wrote in a tweet. “We believe you. We are with you. CBS, We are watching. We expect a full, transparent and expedient investigation. Now. #TIMESUP”
Moonves is also on the board of the American Film Institute. THR has reached out for any updates on his status.
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