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 3:33 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."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 6575
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Hennepin1009131586
Ramsey43165803
Dakota36375392
Anoka33335388
Washington22121258
Stearns18752201
St. Louis14822263
Scott13308107
Wright12538116
Olmsted1181788
Sherburne874172
Carver775640
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Crow Wing521282
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Benton447790
Winona418549
Mower405731
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Goodhue386269
Polk343763
McLeod340049
Beltrami338651
Morrison324747
Itasca313646
Lyon313644
Becker312542
Isanti306756
Steele301511
Carlton300149
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Pine282016
Nicollet259241
Todd248330
Brown245537
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Grant4918
Norman4788
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Cook1180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 335218

Reported Deaths: 5443
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk51785551
Linn19463313
Scott17080210
Black Hawk14924292
Woodbury13778212
Johnson1312174
Dubuque12416194
Dallas1019092
Pottawattamie9828143
Story959345
Warren511674
Clinton500784
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Sioux479169
Marshall463072
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Muscatine424191
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Plymouth367478
Lee354252
Marion339869
Jones284654
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Bremer268754
Carroll266349
Crawford252235
Boone242830
Benton240354
Washington239047
Mahaska215246
Jackson209738
Dickinson202440
Tama202365
Kossuth198055
Delaware185540
Clay183825
Winneshiek182827
Fayette178635
Page177819
Buchanan176929
Wright173831
Hamilton173742
Cedar171523
Hardin169439
Harrison167169
Clayton159854
Butler158831
Mills147920
Floyd147741
Poweshiek147730
Lyon145541
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Iowa139423
Hancock137630
Grundy132030
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Jefferson128334
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Louisa122341
Mitchell120440
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Osceola68215
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