(NEW YORK) — Monday night’s broadcast of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert was not only the first of the week, it was the first since Colbert’s boss, CBS President and CEO Les Moonves, was accused of sexual misconduct. And Stephen Colbert didn’t take a pass on addressing the situation.
After offering a couple of jokes about the allegations in the opening monologue, Colbert took about three-and-a-half minutes after returning from the first commercial break to address the situation directly.
“Before the break…I made a few jokes about my boss being in trouble,” Colbert began. “And uh — are we still broadcasting? You know what? Don’t tell me — I like a surprise.”
But then the host became serious, delivering a sober reflection on the #Me Too movement and personal accountability. Colbert used what he said was a favorite quote from the late President Kennedy to explain the escalating outcry from women against sexual misconduct.
“‘Those who make peaceful revolution impossible made violent revolution inevitable,'” Colbert said, quoting JFK. “For so long for women in the workplace, there was no change. No justice for the abused,” he went on. “So we shouldn’t be surprised that when the change comes, it comes radically. This roar is just a natural backlash to all that silence.”
Colbert ended his comments by saying he didn’t know what was going to happen regarding Moonves, but declaring, “I do believe in accountability. …Everybody believes in accountability until it’s their guy. And make no mistake,” he said, “Les Moonves is my guy.”
Colbert went on to declare how much Moonves had supported The Late Show and him personally. Even so, Colbert said, “Accountability is meaningless unless it’s for everybody — whether it’s the leader of a network, or the leader of the free world.”
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