Cybill Shepherd, whose show “Cybill” ran for four seasons and had strong ratings before it was abruptly canceled, said in an interview on SiriusXM's The Michelle Collins Show that the reason it was canceled was that she had refused to have a sexual encounter with then-CBS boss Les Moonves.
Shepherd, who won two Golden Globes for her work on the show, stated:
Well, he did, uh his assistant and my assistant made a dinner date and we went to it and he was, well he was telling me his wife didn't turn him on, some mistress didn't turn him on. And I'm watching him drink alcohol and I'm going, he says, well, you know, why don't you let me take you home? I said, no, I've got a ride and I had my car outside with a good friend of mine who is an off duty LAPD officer.
Shepherd claimed that following the alleged incident, notes were transmitted to the show detailing what actions her character could take, and the show was cancelled soon after that. As the Daily Mail reports, she described how the show worked before the alleged notes were sent: “Yes. Um, we did a lot of jokes. It's just funny to see somebody whose ‘pretty,’ you know, talking with some food in their mouth, not overdoing it. It's just funny. And then I got that note, don't do that anymore. Don't have Cybill talk while she's eating.”
Shepherd continued, “Then it was, okay, we had done one menopause episode, then we were going to do a second one … They said you can't use menses, menstruation, or period and I fought to say period and that ended up in Newsweek or Time just that year. I had had to fight to say period.”
Collins asked: “After this dinner date though, I want to ask you this, obviously you made it clear you weren't interested, he's married, et cetera. Uh, how soon after that then did you find that you were having issues with the series?”
Shepherd: “Quite shortly.”
In September, CBS Corporation announced Leslie Moonves was out, effective immediately after The New Yorker published an investigative piece by Ronan Farrow recounting the allegations of six women accusing Moonves of sexual misconduct; that came after Farrow's previous report presenting the accusations of six other women against the CEO.
CBS stated, "A financial exit package for Moonves will be withheld pending the results of an ongoing investigation into the allegations against him. Moonves was eligible for as much as $180 million if fired without cause, according to an employment contract he signed in May 2017."
As The Daily Wire reported, “Moonves adamantly denies the ‘appalling’ allegations, though he has vaguely acknowledged three of the encounters with women which he insisted were consensual.”
Moonves released a statement to The New Yorker, asserting:
The appalling accusations in this article are untrue. What is true is that I had consensual relations with three of the women some 25 years ago before I came to CBS. And I have never used my position to hinder the advancement or careers of women. In my 40 years of work, I have never before heard of such disturbing accusations. I can only surmise they are surfacing now for the first time, decades later, as part of a concerted effort by others to destroy my name, my reputation, and my career. Anyone who knows me knows that the person described in this article is not me.