UPDATE: CBS CEO, Finally, Resigns From Network After Allegations of Sexual Misconduct Are Exposed
Given the fact the network was slow to move in the first place, is it enough?
UPDATE: September 12, 2018
Time's Up, the organization founded in early 2018, urged CBS to change current practices and donate the entirety of ex-CEO Leslie Moonves' severance package to "organizations that address sexual harassment and workplace safety."
Time's Up posted a letter on Twitter stating their demands. The letter was thorough and expressive and called to CBS to task. It read:
The letter also stated: "That is $120 million dollars that will either go to Mr. Moonves or back into the coffers of the company that allowed the culture created by Mr. Moonves to continue. Or that $120 million can create change by going to organizations – and there are many impactful organizations – that can help women of all kinds. The choice is yours. But the answer is obvious. We ask that you not dishonor the bravery of those who have come forward by spending that money unwisely."
It has not been confirmed whether or not CBS has donated the $20 million they promised to the MeToo Organization.
CBS Network made an announcement on Sunday that chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves is departing the company, effective immediately.
Note the use of "Departing" and not fired. Moonves' exit comes hours after The New Yorker published accounts from six women with allegations of sexual assault or misconduct, followed by allegations by six other women in July.
A severance package for Moonves will be withheld while the network waits for the results of an ongoing investigation into the allegations against him. The former CEO was eligible for roughly $180 million if fired without cause, according to an employment contract he signed in May 2017. Reports have indicated a potential payout in the range of $100 million.
A press release from CEO and Moonves stated: "Moonves and CBS will donate $20 million to one or more organizations that support the #MeToo movement and equality for women in the workplace. The donation, which will be made immediately, has been deducted from any severance benefits that may be due to Moonves following the Board's ongoing independent investigation led by Covington & Burling and Debevoise & Plimpton. Moonves will not receive any severance benefits at this time (other than certain fully accrued and vested compensation and benefits); any payments to be made in the future will depend upon the results of the independent investigation and subsequent Board evaluation."
As with most of the perpetrators who've been exposed by the #MeToo movement, Moonves, who is white, hasn't really had to deal with the repercussions of his alleged actions. Although he admitted to being guilty of the allegations, he played the "ignorance of being a man in power card." Yes, he resigned "immediately," but he may still very well come out on the winning end of this situation because he will still be paid.
Rachel Bloom, the star of "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" on the CBS co-owned CW, on Sunday, tweeted her thoughts on a potential settlement to Moonves.
Ronan Farrow tweeted about some of Moonves' egregious violations and CBS' inaction as well stating:
Ironically, CBS Board of Directors, which is primarily white and male with only 3 women out of 15 people, thought it was a good idea to maintain his position even after members knew about his predatory behavior. The directors decided that Moonves would continue to lead its 100 percent male executive team as an investigation takes place.
Simply allowing Moonves to step down is NOT enough. Why are the corporations who support these sharks not being held accountable also? He stepped down and it's business as usual for the network. The entire BOD should be fired and diversified. But as long as white male run boards exist, this will always be the case.
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Not only was he clearly identifiable, but officers on the scene knew Jemel Roberson. A civil rights lawsuit has been filed against "Officer John Doe" and Midloathian Village.
Jemel Roberson, age 26, shot and killed on Sunday by a white cop in a Chicago suburb, was wearing a hat that said "SECURITY" on it, clearly identifying himself as an ally to the police.
Officers circled his body in video footage, after telling the unnamed officer, who is a four-year veteran of the force, that Roberson was "one of us."
A Midlothian officer used excessive force when he killed an on-duty armed guard while responding to a shots fired call at a bar in Robbins, IL, a lawsuit was filed against the cop and village. “Other officers knew him and screamed out he's one of us," says witness.#JemelRoberson pic.twitter.com/RySvFK7kYw
— Tia A. Ewing (@TIA_EWING) November 13, 2018
The medical examiner in Cook County ruled Roberson's death a homicide by multiple gunshot wounds.
Beatrice Roberson, Jemel's mother, retained attorney Gregory Kulis who filed a civil rights lawsuit against "Officer John Doe" and the Village of Midloathian on Monday claiming the officer's actions were "intentional, willful and wanton" and that the shooting was "unprovoked," "unjustified" and "unreasonable."
"Jemel was trying to save people's lives," said Kulis. "He was working security. A shooting had just taken place inside the establishment. So he was doing his job and holding onto somebody until somebody arrived. And a police officer, it's our feeling didn't make the proper assessment and fired and killed Jemel."
Midloathian police expressed "heartfelt condolences" in a statement to the family.
Sherriff's office spokeswoman Sophia Ansari said the man shot by police, "turned out to be a guy working security for the bar."
Roberson was the father of a nine-month-old son with Avontea Boose, and was planning on getting an apartment for his family with his earnings from the job, according to Rev. Marvin Hunter, who also said Roberson was a promising keyboard player at several churches including his, and "an upstanding man."
Hunter is the great uncle of Laquan McDonald who was also killed by police in Chicago in 2014.
A vigil held outside Manny's on Monday was wrought with expressions of frustration, grief, and demands for action:
"Why? Why did you kill him?" Roberson's cousin, Candace Ousley asked. "It doesn't make sense. The police officer just saw a black man. I believe if he was indeed white, he'd be alive."
Another man at the vigil said, "This was not reckless policing, this was homicidal policing. They saw a black man with a gun. If he did not have a gun, his black skin made him a weapon.
"As a community, we demand respectful engagement. We want the police to treat our people with just a certain amount of dignity and respect. They patrol the Black community like some . . . Gestapo being judge, jury and executioner."
Another vigil attendee, Harvey Alderman Keith Price, called on State's Attorney Kim Foxx to open an investigation into the shooting.
"This could have been my son. This could have been any one of our sons," Price said. "So Kim Foxx, do the right thing, open up a full out investigation. That's what you got elected for."
Lane Tech College Prep, where Roberson graduated from, tweeted a remembrance of Roberson:
It is with great sadness that we inform you of the tragic passing of 2010 Lane Tech graduate and Lane Tech Basketball alumn, Jemel Roberson. We pass along our deepest condolences to the friends and family of Jemel. Jemel had a big smile and a bigger heart. You will be missed. pic.twitter.com/gpdrI6qQtc
— Lane Tech Basketball (@LaneTechHoops) November 12, 2018
Jemel Roberson Remembered By Friends www.youtube.com
The incident occurred when she was just nineteen.
The perpetrator told authorities, "the President of the United States says it's okay to grab women by their private parts."
"We can't wait for white folks to decide our trauma is worth focusing on," Burke said.
Tarana Burke is reflecting on the movement she created more than 12 years ago, but it's only been one year since its historic rise worldwide. It has led to women speaking out very publicly against assault. And now that it's been endorsed by the upper echelons of white women, we can celebrate its existence.
On Monday, Burke wrote on Twitter that her work supports all sexual assault survivors, but it "has always centered on Black and Brown women and girls. And it always will…"
My work has always centered Black and Brown women and girls. And it always will - but at the heart of it all it supports ALL survivors of sexual violence. And I committed to that work a long time ago so watching people open up with what felt like no covering online was hard. +
— Tarana (@TaranaBurke) October 15, 2018
So when she heard about Lee Daniels making a Me Too comedy, she expressed objections, saying, "We have to get in front of that."
"To put Me Too and comedy in the same sentence is so deeply offensive… that you think in this moment when we're still unpacking the issue that you can write a comedy about it."
Burke doesn't think the media really cares about the stories of Black women and other women of color.
"We can't wait for white folks to decide that our trauma is worth centering on when we know that it's happening," she told the New York Times.
"We know that there are people, whether they're in entertainment or not, who are ravaging our community. We have to be proactive, unfortunately without the benefit of massive exposure. That's our reality, but it always has been."
The majority of Black women in Hollywood have kept their experiences with sexual assault a secret. But there are a few exceptions.
Gabrielle Union has been, according to Burke, the only woman who not only speaks about her story but also advocates. Few others — Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah, Fantasia Barrino, and Lupita Nyong'o — have talked about it publicly.
"There is knowing that even if you're not trying to bring down a Black man, a large segment of the population will say 'We don't believe her' because of all these things that we normalize," Burke said.
She recalled when a reporter wanted to do a story on R. Kelly and no one would go on record.
"A lot of folks have slid under the radar," she commented.
While she believes the Black community has doubled down on that thinking, she does note progress.
"You could not have had this kind of public discourse with this many people saying that they believe us — we literally have an example in Anita Hill," she told Paper Magazine. "We don't even have to guess what it would've been like or could've been like or what people would've said 20 years ago, we saw it."
In collaboration with the New York Women's Foundation, Burke's Me Too is helping to fund groups serving communities of color, immigrants, and LGBTQ people.
The "Fund for the MeToo Movement and Allies," awarded $840,000 to the DC Rape Crisis center in Washington, the Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective in Los Angeles, the Firecracker Foundation in Lansing, Michigan, Black Women's Blueprint and the Violence Intervention Program, both in New York; Equality Labs, a national group; and the Los Angeles-based FreeFrom, which works with survivors of domestic violence.
The partnership's goal is to raise $5 million per year.
"This is about supporting the people who support the people," Burke said.
Reader Question: Why do you think Black women's stories of sexual assault have been largely unheard or drowned out?
#MeToo: Ex-Atlanta Falcon, Justin Crawford, Arrested and Charged for Incest and Sodomy of a 12-Year-Old Girl
He claims the little girl wanted it.
Former Atlanta Falcon, Justin Crawford, was busted raping a 12-year-old girl and has been arrested on felony charges of sodomy, incest and enticing a minor for an indecent purpose.
Frederick Gaston told authorities sex is a "perk" of the job.
"Sorry that you feel uncomfortable, but [women are] now paving the way for the next generation," Obama says to the men who are disturbed by the Me Too movement.
Former first lady Michelle Obama continues to keep girls at the forefront of her mission as she resumes, using her powerful platform.
Obama, in a recent interview, talked about the Me Too movement and its impact, as well as the importance of girls now having to deal with the same issues.
"Change is not a direct smooth path. There's going to be bumps and resistance," she said on NBC's "Today Show," citing that many will be uneasy about the movement.
"There has been a status quo with the way women have been treated."
Obama said that women have to say to men who are disturbed by the movement, "Sorry that you feel uncomfortable but I'm now paving the way for the next generation."
"We have to think about the way we're paving for our girls," she added.
Referring to the 98 million adolescent girls not in school, she said "The stats show that when you educate a girl, you educate a family, a community, a country."
Obama has been working on international girls' education, since 2015, in a project called Let Girls Learn, which remained with the White House when the Obamas departed.
Her new project, The Global Girls Alliance, grew from a 2013 conversation in the White House with Pakistani human rights advocate Malala Yousafzai, then a teenager. Yousafzai's work focuses on girls who are denied education for war, economic pressure, cultural norms and prejudice.
Today on International #DayoftheGirl, the @ObamaFoundation is proud to launch the #GlobalGirlsAlliance—a program to empower adolescent girls around the world through education.
Head over to https://t.co/PZZ2Q7Y7p4 to join us. pic.twitter.com/2O996vrahJ
— Global Girls Alliance (@girlsalliance) October 11, 2018
Announced on the International Day of the Girl via the Obama Foundation, the organization is partnering with nonprofits like She's the First (which created the Girls First Network, a knowledge sharing community for girl-focused NGOs), Girl Up (which will ensure girls are connected to safe-spaces and girl-focused leadership), Girl's Inc. (encourages girls to understand and represent global voices through Leadership and Community Action program), and Girl Scouts of the USA (that created a toolkit to learn about girls' education from global and national perspectives).
GoFundMe will filter funds to six vetted organizations, seeking amounts from $5,000 to $50,000, at a time. When one project's goal is reached, a new organization will take its place on GoFundMe.
The last time Obama became vocal about gender equality, she was responding to Trump's "grab 'em by the pussy" and similar comments after the Billy Bush tape was revealed. Obama said it had "shaken me to my core."
"This is not something that we can ignore," Obama said in 2016. "This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior, and actually bragging about kissing and groping women."
Of the current times, Obama said, "I chose to engage because there's no choice. The world is a, sadly, dangerous place for women and girls, and we see that again and again. Young women are tired of it. They're tired of being undervalued, they're tired of being disregarded, they're tired of their voices not being invested in and heard."
Reader Question: What do you think of Michelle Obama's stance toward the men who find women speaking up in and around MeToo uncomfortable?
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The legendary gymnastics champion, Simone Biles, is a survivor of the sexual abuse of disgraced Team USA gymnastics ex-physician, Larry Nassar.