News / TV

CBS late-night comedy exec Vinnie Favale out on leave pending harassment investigation

Vincent Favale appeared on an early episode of NBC’s Late Night with David Letterman in 1982, eventually became a Letterman producer with his CBS Late Show in 1996, and eventually became┬áVice President of CBS Late Night Programming, East Coast. Last year he was named┬ásenior vice president of talent development at CBS TV Studios.

But Favale is currently on administrative leave. CBS is investigating whether the comedy executive used sexually offensive language toward women and gay people in the workplace and retaliated against those who complained about it.

CNN broke the story yesterday, and Stephen Colbert mentioned it on-air during last night’s Late Show.

“An article came out on CNN today about an executive at CBS, who used to be the liaison to this show. And there’s only one show on the East Coast, and it was us. He basically came with the building when I got this show and used to be around here a lot. About six months into the show some of our employees said they were uncomfortable with some things that he said, so we took their complaints to HR. They investigated twice, but I don’t really know what, if anything, happened. It seemed like someone was protecting this guy. I don’t know who it was. We eventually convinced the network to make a change.”

Favale issued a statement to CNN in response: “Allegations that I have ever retaliated against anyone in any fashion are 100% false. 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.”

The first videos of Vinnie Favale on YouTube all happen to include such jokes.

Favale also worked on Howard Stern while his radio program was syndicated via CBS.

In a statement Wednesday afternoon, CBS called Favale’s alleged comments “offensive and not consistent with the standards we expect from our executives.”

“The network investigated a complaint for inappropriate language that was received in January 2016, and corrective action was taken,” the CBS statement read. “However, since concerned voices are speaking up nearly three years later, additional review is warranted. Mr. Favale has been placed on leave while we look into this situation further.”

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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