CBS has placed a high ranking executive on leave Wednesday after it was disclosed that he was making homophobic and sexually inappropriate comments at work.
Vincent “Vinnie” Favale (pictured above), the senior vice president of talent for CBS Television and a founder of Comedy Central, regularly called LGBT guests on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert “homos” and insinuated that Colbert himself was gay himself.
“He would frequently call Stephen gay because of his seeming inability to interview women well,” a former CBS executive told CNN. “He would say this in rehearsals, the control room. Sometimes the CBS attorney would even be present, which to me is just shocking that nothing was done.”
Other employees reported that Favale frequently made vulgar comments, including once when there was construction outside the office.
“There was a big drill, and we looked outside and went to the window. [Favale] compared the drill to ‘a big black dick’ as it was drilling into the ground,
Favale allegedly also made derogatory remarks about Jennifer Hudson and Hugh Jackman.
“I’ll never forget the day he told me he got four erections while watching Jennifer Hudson rehearse,” a female former CBS executive told CNN, remembering when Oscar winner Hudson was preparing for her performance on The Late Show in 2015.
When Jackman came on the show to promote Logan, an employee said Favale mocked him as being “gay” and “in the closet,” and called his marriage a “fake.”
Rachel Maddow was also an alleged target of Favale’s homophobia and misogyny. Two people said they heard him ask “Who wants to see that ugly man on TV?” when the MSNBC anchor was a guest. Another witness claimed Favale made a similar comment about another well-known lesbian in entertainment who appeared on The Late Show.
In a statement to CNN Favale responded saying, “I have spent my entire career working at comedy shows, where there has always been a wide latitude to make transgressive jokes while preparing the program. While we make a lot of jokes, these jokes attributed to me, whether said in rehearsals or production meetings, are being taken out of context and were not said in the way being presented here.”