Earlier this summer, The Late Show host Stephen Colbert made the bold decision to speak out forcefully against CBS CEO Leslie Moonves after The New Yorker reported several sexual harassment and assault allegations against him. On Sunday, following similar accusations from at least six more women, Moonves officially stepped down, all the while maintaining his innocence.
And once again, the network’s flagship late-night host had no choice but to talk about it during his monologue.
According to CNN, the show’s taping opened with a joking announcement that “tonight's episode of Undercover Boss starring Leslie Moonves will not be shown” because it was “accidentally sealed in a stainless steel container, which was inadvertently shot into the heart of the sun.”
“As you may have heard, the head of this network, Leslie Moonves, was forced to step down yesterday. This came after a second Ronan Farrow expose featured more women accusing him of sexual harassment and assault,” Colbert said during his monologue. “It’s never a good sign when you’re a subject of a Ronan Farrow double-dip.”
Following the “extremely disturbing” allegations, the host joked that Moonves would be going away “for at least nine months until he does a set at the Comedy Cellar.” The line was a reference to another former boss of his, Louis C.K., who returned to the stand-up stage last month less than a year after he admitted to his own serial sexual misconduct.
When he first addressed the allegations against Moonves in July, Colbert made a handful of jokes during his monologue but then sat down behind his desk and turned far more serious as he talked about the uncomfortable position he was in as a CBS employee.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I do believe in accountability, and not just for politicians you disagree with,” Colbert said at the time. “Everybody believes in accountability until it’s their guy, and, make no mistake, Les Moonves is my guy.”
“But accountability is meaningless unless it’s for everybody,” he added, “whether it’s for the leader of a network or the leader of the free world.”