Vincent “Vinnie” Favale, the senior vice president of talent at CBS, has been placed on administrative leave following multiple allegations of sexual and homophobic language in the workplace.
In a report by CNN, multiple employees at CBS, both former and current, said they either witnessed or later heard about Favale making inappropriate remarks.
In one particular instance, Favale allegedly told a coworker that he “got four erections” while watching singer Jennifer Hudson rehearse for a 2015 appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. He is also said to have made derogatory comments about Colbert’s sexuality.
According to one source, Favale retaliated against her after she formally complained about a sexually explicit joke he had made in a meeting. The source said that after she spoke with her superior, Favale began excluding her from important meetings. She ultimately left CBS, saying her experience with Favale was a contributing factor in her decision to leave.
Favale issued the following statement to CNN regarding the allegations:
Allegations that I have ever retaliated against anyone in any fashion are 100% false. I have spent my entire career working at comedy shows, where there has always been a wide latitude to make transgressive jokes while preparing the program. While we make a lot of jokes, these jokes attributed to me, whether said in rehearsals or production meetings, are being taken out of context and were not said in the way being presented here.
CBS also released a statement of its own to TVLine:
The comments reported in this story are offensive and not consistent with the standards we expect from our executives or the culture we want at CBS. The network investigated a complaint for inappropriate language that was received in January 2016, and corrective action was taken. However, since concerned voices are speaking up nearly three years later, additional review is warranted. Mr. Favale has been placed on leave while we look into this situation further.
Favale’s leave of absence comes just weeks after CBS fired CEO and chairman Les Moonves following multiple sexual assault allegations.