While some would be hesitant to hold their boss accountable, Colbert stated that “[e]verybody believes in accountability until it’s their guy. And make no mistake, Les Moonves is my guy. He hired me to sit in this chair. He stood behind this show when we were struggling to find our voice. He gave us the time and the resources to succeed. And he has stood by us when people were mad at me. I like working for him. But accountability is meaningless unless it’s for everybody – whether it’s the leader of a network or the leader of the free world.”
Colbert has readily used his power to shed light on the allegations against Moonves and workplace harassment towards women in general. During a recent episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, he took the time to discuss this issue of accountability, especially in light of the #MeToo movement.
He returned to the subject of harassment later on in the same episode by saying, “For so long for women in the workplace, there was no change. No justice for the abused. So we shouldn’t be surprised that when the change comes, it comes radically. This war is just a natural backlash to all that silence.”
Colbert has not been afraid to address accusations of harassment against famous men in the past. He has conducted interviews with powerful men such as James Franco, Billy Bush, and even Bill Clinton to question them about the allegations made against them and directly address the issue of workplace harassment towards women.
In his interview with Bill Clinton, Colbert mentioned the irrelevance of how long ago an accusation occurred, stating: “It seems like the spirit of the #MeToo movement is that it doesn’t matter how long ago it happened, examples of men who were not held accountable for their behavior — especially men in power with younger women or people who worked for them — is worthy of being adjudicated.”
With 54 percent of working women in the United States reporting harassment, and 95 percent of men receiving no punishment for harassing their women coworkers, it is more timely than ever for men with power, such as Colbert, to address the issue to a larger audience.
The host included a quote from John F. Kennedy in his discussion: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
Colbert has embodied this peaceful sense of revolution through his efforts to hold powerful men accountable for their actions, regardless of their position or place in society.
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