60 Minutes producer sues CBS for alleged gender discrimination | CBC News


60 Minutes producer sues CBS for alleged gender discrimination | CBC News

An associate producer on the CBS current affairs TV show 60 Minutes filed a lawsuit on Tuesday alleging gender discrimination and retaliation by the company after she complained about inappropriate conduct by her boss.

In the complaint, filed in New York State Supreme Court against CBS Broadcasting, Cassandra Vinograd, who is London-based, said she told company executives that her boss, 60 Minutes producer Michael Gavshon, texted her a photo that made her feel “disgusted, uncomfortable and scared.”

Gavshon, 63, said he meant to send the photo to his sister, according to the complaint.

CBS News, which is part of ViacomCBS, said it “plans to vigorously defend against the lawsuit.”

“CBS thoroughly and immediately investigated the matter in accordance with its policies,” the network said in the statement. “Subsequently, Ms. Vinograd asked to no longer work with Mr. Gavshon and CBS has made every reasonable effort to honour this request. CBS News vehemently denies there was any retaliation.”

60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager is among three high-profile CBS figures, including anchor Charlie Rose and network president Leslie Moonves, who have been fired from the company or resigned under pressure in connection to allegations of inappropriate behaviour. (Richard Drew/The Associated Press)

In a statement sent from CBS, Gavshon restated that he had intended to send the photo to his sister, and said he reported the incident and co-operated with a company investigation.

According to the complaint, the CBS human resources department conducted an investigation after Vinograd raised the issue. Human resources advised her to stay home if she was uncomfortable working with Gavshon, and told her she should meet with Gavshon and try to “work through” things, according to the complaint.

After the investigation, Vinograd was stripped of all work responsibilities, according to the complaint.

CBS executives have been the subject of other sexual harassment allegations in recent years. Anchor Charlie Rose, CBS Corp. president Leslie Moonves and 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager were all fired from the company or resigned under pressure.

Rose apologized for his “inappropriate behaviour.” Fager has denied allegations of sexual harassment.

Moonves has denied any wrongdoing and has described his sexual encounters as consensual.


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