For Immediate Release:
Contact: Tiffany Wang
Statement by YWCA USA CEO Alejandra Y. Castillo:
“The recent horrifying allegations of sexual abuse, harassment, and intimidation against Les Moonves and CBS is just the latest case of powerful men exploiting their authority and being protected at the expense of women and survivors. We stand with and believe all survivors, including the many women who have bravely spoken out against Moonves and the toxic culture of complicity at CBS that enabled abuse.
“We are painfully aware that it took major news coverage and a massive public outcry to get the CBS Board of Directors to finally take action—and even then, there remains a real possibility that Moonves could receive a large payout. Willful ignorance can never be a defense of a corporate culture that tacitly condones and enables sexual abuse. Instead of further normalizing predatory behavior by giving Moonves a golden parachute, we urge CBS to use their vast financial resources to help women and survivors, take full inventory of their corporate values and policies, and enact real changes across all levels of management to cleanse the company of their toxic culture. Abusers, and those who enable them, must be held accountable.
“This case also underscores how our society continues to overlook the most marginalized women in our country: It’s easy to pay attention to cases involving powerful White men at major corporations and in Hollywood that receive major news coverage, but it is crucial that we all recognize and address the everyday abuse experienced by women whose stories and voices are neglected by the media.
“As an organization that serves over 2 million women and girls annually and as the largest network of domestic violence services providers in the country, we at YWCA USA know that women face these same issues of sexual assault, harassment, and abuse every day, at every level of work and across all sectors. From domestic work to the restaurant industry, women—especially women of color—face sexual abuse, harassment, and retaliation, and are frequently silenced by men with positions of relative power and authority. YWCAs across the country work every day in their communities to end violence and support survivors—and we will continue to do so until all survivors get the support, safety, and justice that they deserve.”