Designing Women creator Linda Bloodworth Thomason delivered a scathing editorial on Les Moovnes, who did not sexually assault her but did make her life a living hell at CBS after she signed a $50 million production deal with the company. It’s a stunning takedown that begins like this:
This is not the article you might be expecting about Les Moonves. It’s not going to be wise or inspiring. It’s going to be petty and punishing. In spite of my proper Southern mother’s admonition to always be gracious, I am all out of grace when it comes to Mr. Moonves. In fact, like a lot of women in Hollywood, I am happy to dance on his professional grave. And not just any dance — this will be the Macarena, the rumba, the cha-cha and the Moonwalk. You get the idea.
In the piece, Bloodworth Thomason explains that, after taking over as the head of CBS, Moonves essentially froze her out, despite her huge successes with Designing Women and Evening Shade, because he hated “Designing Women and their loud-mouthed speeches.” Bloodworth Thomason recounts stories about how Moonves treated women on the network, recalling that she heard from a “female CBS employees about his mercurial, misogynist behavior, with actresses being ushered in and out of his office. His mantra, I was told, was, “Why would I wanna cast ‘em if I don’t wanna fuck ‘em?” And he was an angry bully who enjoyed telling people, “I will tear off the top of your head and piss on your brain!” She also detailed about how he shut down a famous actresses’ idea for a new TV show and made her cry, which is when he decided to shove his tongue down her throat.
Shows like Designing Women, meanwhile, were pushed aside in favor of male-dominated procedurals.
For years, Moonves loaded up the network with highly profitable, male-dominated series, always careful to stir in and amply reward an occasional actress, like the fabulous Patti Heaton or the irresistible Kaley Cuoco. But mostly, he presided over a plethora of macho crime shows featuring a virtual genocide of dead naked hotties in morgue drawers, with sadistic female autopsy reports, ratcheted up each week (“Is that a missing breast implant, lieutenant?” “Yes sir, we also found playing cards in her uterus.”) On the day I officially parted company with CBS, the same day Mr. Moonves said he would only pay a tiny fraction of the penalties, my incredulous agent asked what he should tell me. Mr. Moonves replied, “Tell her to go fuck herself!”
It’s a bloody brilliant and gleeful takedown of a man who can only be described as a monster, and it should be read by everyone. It also ends in the most fitting way imaginable:
And as for you, Mr. Moonves, in spite of the fact that I was raised to be a proper Southern female, and with your acknowledgement that I have never, in my life, spoken a single cross word to you, despite the way you treated me, may I simply say, channeling my finest Julia Sugarbaker delivery: “Go fuck yourself!”
Header Image Source: CBS