Shade For Now: Les Moonves Didn't Do Right By Janet Jackson. Now, He Won't Receive $120 Million Severance

(L-R): Les Moonves, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer of CBS Corporation, arrives for the formal Artist’s Dinner hosted by United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in their honor on December 2, 2017 in Washington, D.C.; Janet Jackson attends the 2018 Mnet Music Awards in Hong Kong on December 14, 2018.
Photo: Ron Sachs (Getty Images/Pool), Anthony Kwan (Getty Images)

The sentient sabotaging sallow sapien known as Les Moonves has $120 million less to account for in his greed-expectant vault.

Following the horrid findings from the former network executive’s sexual misconduct investigation, The CBS Corp.’s board has determined Moonves will not be granted his severance pay, The New York Times reports. Transgressions included several sexual assault allegations and an organized cover-up, about which the company claims to have been misled.

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“We have determined that there are grounds to terminate for cause, including his willful and material misfeasance, violation of company policies and breach of his employment contract, as well as his willful failure to cooperate fully with the company’s investigation,” the board released in a statement on Monday.

Instead, Moonves’ exit package will include a $20 million donation to 18 organizations in support of women’s rights within the workplace, CBS confirmed in a statement.

Moonves has the ability to contest the decision via arbitration, which is expected, due to general white man entitlement. The 69-year-old’s lawyer, Andrew Levander refutes the board’s claims, calling them, “without merit.”

“The conclusions of the CBS board were foreordained and are without merit,” Levander said in a statement. “Consistent with the pattern of leaks that have permeated this ‘process,’ the press was informed of these baseless conclusions before Mr. Moonves, further damaging his name, reputation, career and legacy.”

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“Damaging his name, reputation, career and legacy,” you say? Let’s take it back to 2004 for a second, shall we?

Picture it: Sicily—I mean, Super Bowl. Super Bowl XXXVIII, to be exact. Janet Jackson was performing with a fan/fellow superstar, and during his set of “Rock Your Body,he ripped off her now-well-known corset, revealing her breast on live television. As such, the term, “wardrobe malfunction” was born and a bit of Jackson’s public image died. Her entire integrity was called to question. Justin Timberlake? He got off scot-free after apologizing (without sensitivity to Jackson) for the incident.

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More importantly, Moonves reportedly implemented a targeted sabotage against the “Made For Now” singer for several years, as her apology (and $550,000 FCC fine payment) apparently wasn’t enough for him.

As reported by Maiysha Kai on The Root in September 2018:

Several reported that Moonves expressed outrage and issued threats of firings upon learning Jackson signed a book deal with the CBS-owned Simon & Schuster for her 2011 New York Times bestseller, True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself. Yes, that’s a full seven years after the infamous Super Bowl halftime show.

“How the fuck did she slip through?” he reportedly asked.

So, after all of that, this severance shade is the very least that can be done.

Recently, Jackson called out sexism and abuse in the entertainment industry while accepting the Worldwide Inspiration Award, presented by beloved K-pop group BTS at the Mnet Asian Music Awards in Hong Kong, per Vogue.

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“I’m very excited and honored by this wonderful award,” she said in her speech Friday. “I’m deeply humbled by the idea that I’ve inspired others. I dream of an immediate future when women will no longer be controlled, manipulated, or abused. I dream of the end of bigotry and discrimination in any form. I dream of a world in which we join hands across all borders and unite as one. Finally, I dream of a planet where hatred turns to compassion, tolerance turns to understanding, and a healing and lasting peace prevails.”

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Amen.

Moneywise, we all know Moonves will be A-the-fuck-OK. He reportedly received an annual bag of $69.3 million and from 2006 to 2017, his earnings (which, included stock awards, in addition to salary) totaled more than $1 billion. But, because greedy white men gon’ greed, he has to be salty about that extra multi-million dollar snatching.

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I guess it’s the only way he’ll be attached to any form of seasoning.

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About the author

Tonja Renée Stidhum

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.