Colbert confronts CBS exec's allegations

Late-night host Stephen Colbert addresses workplace misconduct allegations against senior vice president of talent for CBS Televisions Studios, Vincent "Vinnie" Favale.

Posted: Oct 5, 2018 3:18 AM
Updated: Oct 5, 2018 3:42 AM

Stephen Colbert addressed allegations of workplace misconduct against the senior vice president of talent for CBS Televisions Studios, Vincent "Vinnie" Favale, during his late-night show on Wednesday.

Favale was placed on administrative leave earlier in the day, according to a CBS spokesperson, following a report by CNN in which nine current and former CBS employees accused the executive of using sexual and homophobic language in the workplace. Two claim they were blocked out of meetings after complaining about the offensive remarks. Favale, who served as a programming executive for "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" until 2017 and currently advises on comedic talent for CBS, denies allegations of retribution and said his comments were taken out of context.

"At the heart of so many of our public discussions right now is the story of powerful men protecting other men in power, and there are a lot of examples of this," Colbert said on Wednesday's show, before referencing CNN's report about Favale.

Related: CBS executive placed on leave following allegations of sexual and homophobic language in the workplace

"An article came out on CNN today about an executive at CBS, who used to be the liaison to this show. And there's only one show on the East Coast, and it was us. He [Favale] basically came with the building when I got this show and used to be around here a lot," Colbert continued. "About six months into the show some of our employees said they were uncomfortable with some things that he said, so we took their complaints to HR. They investigated twice, but I don't really know what, if anything, happened. It seemed like someone was protecting this guy. I don't know who it was. We eventually convinced the network to make a change."

CBS employees who spoke to CNN alleged that Favale talked about having an erection while watching Jennifer Hudson rehearse for a 2015 performance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." Employees said Favale called colleagues and guests "homos" and "gay" and recalled disparaging remarks he would make about women.

Some of the sources, all who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing non-disclosure agreements or concern over professional retribution, claimed that Favale retaliated after they reported his behavior to human resources.

Favale issued a statement to CNN in response:

"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."

Favale started his career with CBS in 1996 and served as a senior programming executive for "The Late Show with David Letterman." He also oversaw the CBS syndicated "Howard Stern Radio Show" from 1998 to 2001.

In a statement Wednesday afternoon, CBS called Favale's alleged comments "offensive and not consistent with the standards we expect from our executives."

"The network investigated a complaint for inappropriate language that was received in January 2016, and corrective action was taken," the CBS statement read. "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."

Colbert closed his remarks on the matter Wednesday with a call for accountability.

"I'm grateful to CNN for writing this article. The press is not the enemy of the people," Colbert said. "This is why you want a free press, this is why you want investigative journalism. It's to make sure that government and companies and people are accountable for their actions."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 261167

Reported Deaths: 5713
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17561191
Hinds16687329
Harrison14050202
Rankin11102217
Jackson10729188
Lee9014143
Madison8495168
Jones6607114
Forrest6135122
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Lamar499865
Washington4904125
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Hancock288461
Tate279062
Alcorn270754
Pike268180
Itawamba266662
Scott256048
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Copiah247649
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Simpson241471
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Holmes171368
Clay164237
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Stone149525
Clarke144762
Calhoun139922
Smith127725
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Walthall114037
Greene112929
Noxubee112225
Montgomery111236
Carroll106422
Lawrence105617
Perry104031
Amite100826
Webster95424
Tunica88221
Claiborne87825
Jefferson Davis87727
Benton84823
Humphreys84224
Kemper80020
Quitman7049
Franklin69617
Choctaw62513
Wilkinson59625
Jefferson56520
Sharkey44817
Issaquena1606
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 436087

Reported Deaths: 6486
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63969994
Mobile31211565
Madison27851208
Tuscaloosa21233271
Montgomery19698326
Shelby19093130
Baldwin16981188
Lee13036105
Morgan12526134
Etowah11987179
Calhoun11441206
Marshall10357123
Houston8886158
Limestone827876
Cullman8203108
Elmore8120104
DeKalb7828103
Lauderdale7798103
St. Clair7763125
Talladega6394111
Walker6002177
Jackson594644
Colbert545276
Blount543986
Autauga532761
Coffee456762
Dale406883
Franklin372448
Russell349212
Chilton342873
Covington336068
Escambia330144
Dallas312096
Tallapoosa3120107
Chambers301170
Clarke293336
Pike261131
Marion251558
Lawrence250752
Winston232742
Bibb221248
Geneva208746
Marengo206529
Pickens199031
Hale182742
Barbour179337
Fayette177029
Butler172459
Cherokee164330
Henry158224
Monroe151320
Randolph144336
Washington140127
Clay129146
Crenshaw122944
Macon120937
Cleburne120724
Lamar119721
Lowndes113736
Wilcox106622
Bullock102228
Perry99118
Conecuh96821
Sumter90026
Greene76823
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