CBS Chiefs: Former Exec’s Claim Network ‘Has a White Problem’ Is ‘Disheartening,’ ‘Painful’

Variety | 4/24/2019 | Will Thorne
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Susan Zirinsky, president of CBS News, and Kelly Kahl, president of CBS Entertainment, sent emails to staff Tuesday expressing concern over claims made in an essay published in Variety in which CBS veteran Whitney Davis detailed racist discrimination and sexual harassment she witnessed and was subjected to at the network.

In response, Zirinsky said Davis’ letter serves as a reminder to CBS senior leaders “to check ourselves” and to “take our culture as seriously as we take our journalism.” Kahl said that the letter shows how much work the network still needs to do to be fully inclusive.

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CBS had previously hired two law firms last year to conduct an independent investigation into cultural issues at CBS, as well as the alleged misconduct of then-CEO Leslie Moonves, however, when the investigation closed and Davis saw the findings, she realized that CBS has “a white problem across the board.”

Read the full responses from Zirinsky and Kahl below.


From Zirinsky:

I was disheartened to read about a young woman’s experience at CBS in Variety. She started her career at the News division – and even if her experience in News was several years ago – some sentiments are relevant to people working here today. It is this reminder today that has made me want to ask all of you as senior leaders here to check ourselves – make sure we are doing all we can. I’m asking you to take our culture as seriously as we take our journalism. I’m looking for you to take an active approach where we seek input from a diversity of voices and diversity of reporters and employees, just as we do in our editorial. We have made progress – yet we need to do more.

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We’re in the midst of an encouraging transition here. I’m confident that the recent changes...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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