Seemingly empowered by women who came forth with accusations against CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff posted a series of tweets Friday about uninvited touching she says she received from a studio boss during production of an unnamed pilot.
Vernoff, who’s been on and off the writing staff of the ABC Studios’ produced Grey’s Anatomy since 2005, prefaced her tweet thread by saying she didn’t think the unnamed executive “had ill intentions” when he gave her shoulder massages and how “I do not think he was sexually inappropriate,” but she still felt that he was “unintentionally hurting me.” She did admit that she was afraid to “offend him” by asking him to stop.
“I’m a bad ass. I’m a brave woman,” wrote Vernoff, who first served as Grey’s showrunner from 2007-11 and then returned in 2017 to resume the top position that she continues to hold today. “So when multiple women in Hollywood are brave enough to speak up about one powerful man? I believe them.” She then added the hashtags #CBS and #LeslieMoonves.
On Friday, The New Yorker released a lengthy report from Ronan Farrow that quoted six women, four of whom were on the record, about multiple instances of inappropriate sexual conduct by Moonves. The 68-year-old CEO released this statement: “Throughout my time at CBS, we have promoted a culture of respect and opportunity for all employees, and have consistently found success elevating women to top executive positions across our Company. I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely. But I always understood and respected – and abided by the principle – that ‘no’ means ‘no,’ and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone’s career.”
CBS, which vowed earlier Friday to investigate the claims before the article had even been published, released a statement that said, in part, “CBS is very mindful of all workplace issues and takes each report of misconduct very seriously.”
A former actor, Moonves went on to become one of the most powerful men in the industry after resuscitating CBS. His compensation reflects his value to the media company: The New Yorker reports that he earned nearly $70,000,000 last year, making him one of the highest-paid executives in the world.