Listen: CBS Sued
Former ’60 Minutes’ Producer Sues CBS & Paramount Global for Discrimination and Retaliation, Exposing a “Toxic Environment” for Women at the Network
In a federal lawsuit filed today, Alexandra Poolos, a former producer for the long-running newsmagazine show ’60 Minutes,’ alleges that she was unjustly fired and is now seeking justice from CBS, CBS News, and parent company Paramount Global. The complaint, filled with damning details, claims that Poolos was a victim of discrimination and misogyny that has long plagued the network.
According to the lawsuit, Poolos was terminated in early 2022 after ten successful years at ’60 Minutes.’ A colleague, who Poolos claims was untruthful and self-serving, accused her of being too aggressive in the workplace. However, Poolos and her legal team argue that this was just an excuse to get rid of her because she had raised concerns about the behavior of others at CBS.
The 46-page filing does not hold back, naming top executives and highlighting previous legal actions against the network for allegedly retaliating against employees who spoke out against misconduct. Poolos specifically calls out ex-CEO Les Moonves, ex-’60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager, current ’60 Minutes’ associate producer David Levine, and ex-CBS News president Neeraj Khemlani, among others.
The lawsuit also details the toxic environment that Poolos endured during her time at ’60 Minutes.’ She alleges that her former supervisor emotionally and verbally abused her, sexually harassed her, and created a hostile work environment. The suit cites instances of pornography, insults about a correspondent’s appearance, and a drunken attempt to coerce Poolos into a compromising situation. According to the filing, male employees faced no consequences for their actions, while women like Poolos suffered from the network’s disregard for abuse, sexism, and sexual harassment.
Regarding her discrimination and retaliation case, Poolos accuses CBS of applying different standards to her compared to male producers who engaged in more severe misconduct. She claims that the network fired her based on a biased investigation conducted by Human Resources and the testimony of a third party with a close relationship with her accuser. Despite Poolos’s 10-year tenure with the company and evidence contradicting the allegations against her, CBS refused to consider her side of the story and denied her severance pay.
Poolos’s lawsuit seeks damages, including her full severance pay and compensation for lost earnings. Additionally, she calls for the court to take action to prevent these unlawful practices from affecting her future employment opportunities. A spokesperson for CBS News declined to comment on the pending litigation.