CBS stock dropped 6.1% on Friday in anticipation of Ronan Farrow’s latest New Yorker expose, alleging longtime CBS Chief Executive Les Moonves sexually harassed at least 6 women over the past few decades.
The hits continued after hours, dropping another 1.3% over the weekend after Farrow’s article finally hit newsstands.
Ronan Farrow: Grim Reaper for the Hollywood creeper
While no single person owns sole credit, Farrow’s Pulitzer-winning expose on Hollywood super creep, Harvey Weinstein, kick-started the #metoo movement back in 2017.
Since then, the floodgates have opened wide. Farrow’s latest article, which reports the allegations of 6 women who claim they were sexually harassed by Moonves between the ’80s and late 2000s, shows that there is much more to come.
People are already talking exits
According to the The Wall Street Journal, some CBS Corp. directors deliberated over the weekend whether Moonves should step aside from the company pending its investigation. He will likely get the boot soon, but if history tells us anything, the damage may already be done.
Even after Harvey Weinstein’s exit, the Weinstein Company went on to file for bankruptcy, desperate to find anyone even remotely interested in buying the company.
And let’s not forget about Spacey… Netflix still lost a reported $39m after Kevin Spacey’s accuser came forward, even though the entertainment giant fired him almost immediately.
The timing couldn’t be worse for CBS
The company is currently engaged in an arduous legal battle where majority shareholder Shari Redstone is attempting to forcibly recombine CBS with Viacom against the wishes of Moonves and the board.
Rumors surrounding Moonves’ misconduct started circulating last winter after the Weinstein piece dropped. Redstone reportedly brought these allegations to the board in December, but no action was taken.
Redstone issued a statement Friday supporting the investigation into the allegations, but insisted that any claims that she played a role in the report were a “malicious insinuation.”
The board, scheduled to meet today, is expected to select a special committee to oversee an outside party to investigate.