CBS fires two top execs after complaints of ‘hostile,’ racist and sexist conduct

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CBS has fired two top TV executives following explosive allegations that they fostered a hostile work environment with racist, sexist and homophobic comments, the network has confirmed.

Peter Dunn, the New York-based president of CBS Television Stations, and David Friend, the senior vice president of news, had already been on leave since the damning allegations were published in January.

CEO George Cheeks told staff in an internal memo Wednesday that the powerful pair “are not returning to their positions and will be leaving the Company,” CBS said.

The investigation into the allegations — published in January by the Los Angeles Times — is “not over and will continue,” Cheeks told staff.

“This entire process, while sometimes painful and emotional, is an important step forward in living up to our promise of a safe, inclusive, respectful and equitable workplace for all of us,” Cheeks told his staff.

The LA Times story included images of a Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission complaint filed by a former employee who accused Dunn of making “racist, sexist, homophobic and discriminatory comments.”

The exec allegedly called Philadelphia anchor Ukee Washington — a cousin of actor Denzel Washington — “just a jive guy,” and said an applicant was “too gay for Philadelphia,” the initial story said.

Friend, a veteran news executive who previously oversaw news at WCBS-TV Channel 2 in New York, was accused of mocking an anchor’s accent, and yelling at her, “What are you a f–king idiot,” the LA paper said.

Friend previously insisted that any comments he made about staff “were only based on performance or qualifications — not about anyone’s race or gender.”

His attorney, David Pohl, insisted that the exec’s “separation from CBS was, as the company itself acknowledges, without any finding that he engaged in the misconduct alleged.”

“He is confident that … the accusations will be proven false,” Pohl told CBS in a statement, stressing that “Mr. Friend is incredibly proud of the success he achieved during his 14 years at CBS.”

An attorney for Dunn said that despite the termination, the network’s bosses “continue to pay him under his contract.”

“CBS has stated it has terminated Peter, it is not for-cause, but rather about a loss of trust regarding yet to be investigated allegations,” the attorney, Larry Hutcher, told the network.

“We are confident that the investigation will exonerate Peter and are prepared to fully cooperate, but the opportunity to do so has not yet occurred,” Hutcher said.

“He has a strong record of hiring and promoting professionals of diverse backgrounds and has been a champion of women and men of color throughout the organization,” Hutcher insisted.

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