The University reacts to Les Moonves sexual assault accusations

Rachel Milio, Contributing Writer

As the #MeToo Movement continues to combat sexual harassment in Hollywood and in the workplace, University alumni and CBS Corporation CEO Leslie Moonves ’71 is facing a slew of sexual assault accusations. Six women came forward against Moonves in a The New Yorker exposé that was published in the Aug. 6 & 13, 2018 issue. Allegations from these women included forced kissing, harassment, and intimidation. The accusations against Moonves are the most recent in a growing pattern of women speaking up against men who have used their industry power and influence to get away with sexual harassment and assault.

Before The New Yorker article’s publication, on July 27, University President John Bravman sent out an email notifying campus of the allegations against Moonves.

“Sexual misconduct is unacceptable — on campus or beyond, and Bucknell will not stand for such behavior,” Bravman said in the email.

Numerous news sources including Associated Press News, The Hollywood Reporter, PhillyVoice, Inside Higher Ed, and more reported in late July that articles referencing Moonves had been taken down from the University website. “Given the serious nature of the allegations against him and the University’s position that sexual misconduct of any kind is unacceptable, we felt it it was appropriate to remove from our website references that celebrate his relationship with the University,” Chief Communications Officer Andy Hirsch said. Moonves had previously spoken at the University’s 2016 commencement, and afterwards received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, although whether or not that degree will be revoked is still undetermined.

University students shared their reactions to the accusations. “What Les Moonves did was unacceptable and unforgivable, and it is important that Bucknell shows that it does not support this behavior, regardless of how influential you are,” Emily Taylor ’21 said.

“I hadn’t actually heard of this until you asked me,” Becca Jawahar ’22 said. Jawahar believes the accusations against Moonves do not “have a reflection on the University as a whole, because people make their own choices. Moonves could have been from anywhere, he could have been from Harvard or Yale; it just happens he was from here.”

Campus Title IX Coordinator Kate Grimes is “heartened to see the University take important steps and devote significant resources to prevent sexual assaults and other forms of sexual misconduct.”

Grimes offers herself as a resource, encouraging “anyone who has been affected by or is aware of someone who has been affected by sexual harassment, sexual violence, relationship violence or stalking to reach out to me.” Grimes and the other University staff wish it to be known that students can seek University resources without pursuing disciplinary charges.

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