Stephen Colbert: ‘Accountability is meaningless unless it’s for everybody’

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I know nothing will happen to Les Moonves at CBS. I know that in my heart. The worst thing that could possibly happen to him, in the wake of Ronan Farrow’s New Yorker exposé, is that Moonves is encouraged to leave on his accord, with a substantial golden parachute to ease him into retirement. That’s it. What’s far more likely is that CBS hires an outside law firm to investigate itself, then CBS buries the worst stories and ends up clearing itself (and Moonves) of all charges and everyone forgets about it in a year. CBS has already hired an outside team to investigate. God knows, they probably hired the same team that Fox News used.

Anyway, I’m not sure if anyone expected Stephen Colbert to say anything. When someone is accused of this kind of “decades long campaign of harassment and abuse,” generally that person’s coworkers tend to stay pretty quiet. But Colbert made some jokes in his opening monologue (it’s the first part):

Then Colbert did a longer statement to camera:

As I said, I wasn’t expecting Colbert to make any kind of grand statement either way. I was thinking about this for a while… what else could he have said that would have made sense? He acknowledges that he owes a great debt to Moonves for supporting him in the early years of his tenure at The Late Show. Colbert doesn’t call the accusers liars, and he doesn’t negate their stories or try to say “well Moonves has always been great to me, therefore he could never treat anyone horribly.” He acknowledges that “Accountability is meaningless unless it’s for everybody, whether it’s for the leader of a network or the leader of the free world.” But as I said in the opening… nothing is going to happen. Colbert made the best statement he could, but… it doesn’t really feel like Colbert is going to go into HIS guy’s office and say “okay you need to step down as CEO.” I wouldn’t expect Colbert to do that anyway.

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8 Responses to “Stephen Colbert: ‘Accountability is meaningless unless it’s for everybody’”

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  1. Esmom says:

    When I read the headline I thought “can I get an A-f&%^ing-men,” but I was actually thinking in terms of Ds and Rs. Jim Jordan, specifically, in contrast to, say, Al Franken. But I guess it applies to a lot of situations these days.

  2. JAC says:

    He could have gone harder. It’s understandable why he didn’t, but all of them are the same. Him, Stewart, everybody. It’s a lot easier to talk the talk than to walk the walk.

  3. Snazzy says:

    John Oliver did a wonderful clip on workplace sexual harassment and interviewed Anita Hill. One of his comments to her that there may have been a time where he witnessed harassing type behaviour he may not have said anything because was too junior, and that he felt guilty about it now. Her answer was basically – yes, you should! Ok I’m paraphrasing badly because both JO and AH are class acts, but you see what I mean.

    This isn’t exactly the same as Colbert of course, but I do think these guys have such a wide audience it’s important they say something. Even when it hurts

  4. Queenb says:

    Im not a real fan of Colbert but not much he can do. He has to think about the people he employs, he cant really threaten to walk away or something. Thats the only power he theoretically has. Its not up to talent anyway, the management must get rid of him.

    • Darla says:

      Exactly. This is up to management.

    • Lilly says:

      I am a fan of his and I agree it’s not up to him. I doubt when the board met yesterday, they thought about consulting with Stephen. It would have been unthinkable not that long ago to have addressed it at all. I’ve been trying to put myself in his position and it’s difficult to know what I would have said.

  5. formerly known as amy says:

    shout out to Colbert just brilliant.

    • SM says:

      I agree, he chose to address it rathet than staying silent, which could be more convinient. He did talk about it in very realistic way- this guy may have made Stephen’s career bit at the same time could have been a total ass to others. And in most cases it is true. All thise who say: I don’t believe the women because he was/is nice to me is a bucket of bullshit. And he is saying the most he can, which is no matter what, everyone should be accountable. I also like that he gets ahead of that rationale of “it was so long ago, everythong changed since then” which he also basically calls bullshit. And honestly, Stephen is too little of a fish in the CBS pond so his calls for firing this guy would make any difference for the actual decission. I think his willingness to speak out about this because je works for CBS could have a very positive outcome – it is a massive corporation, employing major stars as well as hunderend of celebrities and people in the spotlight. This is a lead for all of them to speak out.