Saturday, October 03, 2009

When Should Sex With An Employee Be Harassment?

David Letterman has had to admit to having affairs with employees of his show. If these women were co-workers rather that his employees or he was not the star of the show with control over every aspect, including who works on the show, then the affairs would only be a personal matter - mostly between Letterman and his wife (he was dating his wife while having an affair on the side). But, he is the star and they worked for him, which makes it a legal matter: sexual harassment of an employee. It doesn't matter, in my opinion, if the woman was willing; Letterman has probably violated the law. I assume, as does the law, that his employer status, not to mention his celebrity and her young age, gave him an unfair advantage over her that should be a legal issue.

How will CBS handle their Late Night Superstar?

What would you do with Letterman if you were in charge of CBS?


Kansas Bob said...

I agree with you Joe but doubt that CBS will do anything publicly.

If I were in charge of CBS I would discipline him seeing it as a legal issue and not a business decision.

Of course viewers may make the decision for him.. my wife told me that she will no longer watch.. not that we did all that much anyway.

Joe said...

I hope CBS does discipline Letterman. If they don't want to because its the right thing to do, then they might still do it to limit their own liability - civil and financial.

I also didn't like his statements about Palin's daughter. Letterman should have and perhaps would have been disciplined for that had Palin not responded so poorly in the media.

Kansas Bob said...

Saw this morning that Letterman's ratings are up this week reaching levels he had when the prez visited.

Guess he is safe because he works for himself and not CBS. A sad commentary on reality TV.

Joe said...

Disappointing isn't it? Some pundit complained that the public shouldn't apply the same standards to Letterman, because he is a comedian, as they apply to our elected officials. His humor is occasionally tasteless but that's not the issue. Having sex with an employee is the issue and celebrity is not immunity from the law, although it very frequently seems to have that effect.

I didn't realize that he works for himself. I don't think that would prevent CBS from dropping him, although money might, and sponsors could opt to take a walk if this isn't dealt with properly.