A 60 Minutes producer claims he did.
It’s the kind of story that “60 Minutes” lives for.
A supervisor sends his associate an inappropriate and unsolicited photo. She complains to human resources and demands an investigation, and complains about her boss’s excessive alcohol use. But the company, already in the throws of a high-profile sexual harassment scandal, gives the complaint short shrift, retaliating against her, instead.
The charges, as alleged in a new lawsuit, could easily be fodder for a CBS exposè, except that the suit was filed against the network and “60 Minutes.”
Cassandra Vinograd, a London-based associate producer for the news show, was alarmed in September when her boss, Michael Gavshon, sent her an old photo of himself and some friends urinating on what appeared to be smoldering coal, according to documents filed Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Gavshon, 63, said the photo was meant for his sister, and went to Vinograd by mistake, an explanation accepted by senior executives, who did not substantiate the drinking claims, the suit said.
When she requested an investigation, Vinograd asked to be protected from retaliation. According to the legal papers, she wasn’t.
“In the ensuing days, through a series of swift moving events, Cassie was ostracized, isolated and penalized for calling out what she perceived as inappropriate conduct by Gavshon,” court papers allege.
“Gavshon quickly removed her from all stories in production, including a segment she had pitched and performed the majority of the work on. In deference to Gavshon, CBS executives did nothing to stop his blatant retaliation. Worse, senior executives ratified his personal vendetta by willingly sending temporary associate producers to replace Cassie and work with Gavshon.”
Since then, “Cassie sits alone in her office with no work to do while her coworkers are left to wonder what Cassie may have done to cause such a horrible predicament,” the suit claims.
A CBS spokesman did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
The gender discrimination suit comes more than two years after CBS fired one of its top on-air talents, Charlie Rose, over allegations of sexual harassment that caused his co-hosts to reprimand him live on the air..
Then-“CBS This Morning” co-hosts Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King rebuked their colleague of five years in a segment — applauding the accusers’ courage.
Women said Rose exposed himself and make lewd phone calls to them.
A year later, in 2018, former CBS CEO Les Moonves resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.
Vinograd’s lawsuit asks for an award of damages to be determined at trial.
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