During a report detailing the sexual harassment allegations against international star Placido Domingo, CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell was caught on a hot mic inadvertently saying, “Sounds like somebody else here.”
The report segued to a reporter reading Domingo’s statement in the face of the accusations: “Still, it is painful to hear that I may have upset anyone or made them feel uncomfortable — no matter how long ago and despite my best intentions. I believed that all of my interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual.” As the reporter finished reading the second sentence, O’Donnell muttered off-screen, “Sounds like somebody else here.” Then the segment cut back to her.
The Daily Mail noted that the audio was deleted later before it was on-air.
Last December, Brooks Harris, Sydney McNeal and Chelsea Wei settled with CBS after they filed suit accusing Charlie Rose of sexually harassing them and accused CBS of being “fully aware” of Rose’s actions. After the women accused Rose of sexual misconduct in November 2017, Rose was fired; O’Donnell commented, “This is a moment that demands a frank and honest assessment about where we stand and more generally the safety of women. Let me very clear. There is no excuse for this alleged behavior. It is systematic and pervasive. And I’ve been doing a lot of listening and I’m going to continue to do that. This I know is true: women cannot achieve equality in the workplace or in society until there is a reckoning and a taking of responsibility. I am really proud to work at CBS News, there are so many incredible people here, especially on this show. All of you here. This will be investigated; this has to end. This behavior is wrong.”
David Rhodes, CBS president, added, “There is absolutely nothing more important, in this or any organization, than ensuring a safe, professional workplace — a supportive environment where people feel they can do their best work. We need to be such a place. I’ve often heard that things used to be different. And no one may be able to correct the past. But what may once have been accepted should not ever have been acceptable.”
After former CBS chief Les Moonves left CBS in September 2018 following sexual harassment allegations against him, O’Donnell stated that Moonves had always treated her “fairly and with respect.” She added, “Still, for me it was another sleepless night thinking of the pain these women feel. The courage that it takes for women to come forward and talk about this. And I really didn’t know what I was going to say this morning …” She then referred to Rose’s firing ten months before:
10 months later, we’re still talking about this. But here’s what I said back then and I think it still holds and I want to say it again. There is no excuse for this alleged behavior. It’s systematic and it is pervasive in our culture. And this I know is true, to the core of my being: Women cannot achieve equality in the workplace or in society until there is a reckoning and a taking of responsibility … As a journalist, I am confident that the truth is going to come out. There are two prominent investigations going on with really good lawyers. This has to end. The story will continue.
Video of O’Donnell on hot mic below: