CBS offers Moonves’ $20m severance to anti-harassment groups

CBS Corporation will disburse a pledged $20m to 18 organisations to support eliminating sexual harassment in the workplace – money that is coming out of former CEO and chairman Les Moonves’ severance benefits.

The news arrives months after Moonves departed the company amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Moonves, who has served at the company for over 20 years, would have been due $180m of severance if CBS were to let him go without cause, but he has agreed to depart without any immediate compensation in light of the allegations.

Currently, under a separation agreement, CBS is holding $120m for Moonves which he may or may not get depending on the results of an investigation into his conduct. The $20m has been deducted from Moonves’ overall package.

“This grant announcement is part of the company’s separation agreement with the company’s former chief executive officer, which states the donation was deducted from any severance benefits that may be due to him,” CBS said in a statement.

The organisations CBS has decided to donate to are meant to represent different critical approaches to combatting sexual harassment, including efforts to change culture and improve gender equity in the workplace, train and educate employees, and provide victims with services and support.

CBS will give a portion of the grant to two organizations, the Collaborative Fund for Women’s Safety and Dignity (through Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors) and the New York Women’s Foundation, in order to disburse smaller grants to additional organizations.

The company worked with advisory firm RALLY, an issue-driven communications firm, to determine the criteria for the grants and develop a strategy that will support new and existing work.

The complete list if CBS grant fund recipients include the following:

  • Catalyst
  • Collaborative Fund for Women’s Safety and Dignity (Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors)– re granting
  • Free the Bid
  • Freedom Forum Institute – Power Shift Project
  • Futures Without Violence
  • Girls for Gender Equity / ‘me too.’ Movement
  • International Women’s Media Foundation
  • National Women’s Law Center
  • New York Women’s Foundation – re-granting
  • Press Forward
  • Producers Guild of America Foundation
  • STRIVE International
  • Sundance Institute’s Momentum program
  • TIME’S UP Entertainment
  • TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund
  • Women in Film Los Angeles
  • Women’s Media Center

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