CBS Hitmaker: Moonves Had 7-Year Vendetta Against Me

Linda Bloodworth Thomason says she's 'happy to dance on his professional grave'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2018 1:48 PM CDT
In this Thursday, June 27, 2013 photo, American director, writer, and television producer, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason poses for a portrait in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – The creator of Designing Women and Evening Shade, described by the Hollywood Reporter as one of CBS' biggest hitmakers, has written a powerful piece for the Reporter taking disgraced former CBS chairman and CEO Les Moonves to task. But, as the headline of Linda Bloodworth Thomason's piece notes, "not all harassment is sexual." Rather, Moonves carried out a "personal vendetta" to keep Bloodworth Thomason's shows off the network and keep her out of work for seven years right at the "pinnacle" of her career, she alleges. Before he took over, her shows were celebrated by CBS execs and she was given "carte blanche" to tackle such subjects as sexual harassment and domestic violence. Then in 1995, three years after she was given the largest writing and producing contract in the network's history at $50 million, Moonves took the reins.

He proceeded to decline all of her pilots, all while keeping her hope alive that eventually something would end up on air. She doesn't know why he sidelined her, though she wonders if her shows' "admittedly aggressive, feminist agenda" had something to do with it. Over the years, she watched as he turned CBS from a network that championed strong female characters to a network full of "macho crime shows featuring a virtual genocide of dead naked hotties in morgue drawers." And so she bids Moonves good riddance, writing she's "happy to dance on his professional grave." To all the sexual predators in the entertainment industry, she warns, "We are not going to stop until every last one of you is gone. We don't care anymore if you go to jail or go to hell. Just know at some point that you are leaving." Her full piece is worth a read, especially for its final three words.

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