The senior vice president of talent for CBS Televisions Studios was placed on leave Wednesday after being accused of “using sexual and homophobic language in the workplace,” CNN reports. Vincent “Vinnie” Favale, who reportedly organizes “programing around talent and advises on comedy bookings for the network,” was placed on administrative leave after CNN contacted the network with various allegations from nine current and former male and female employees. The employees said that Favale used “sexual innuendo,” made “homophobic comments,” and made “derogatory remarks about the appearances of female guests” during Late Show with Stephen Colbert meetings and rehearsals between 2015 and 2018.
Three employees claimed Favale said he got “four erections” while watching Jennifer Hudson perform in a 2015 rehearsal for her Late Show appearance. One female employee said he compared a construction drill outside the office window to “a big black dick” in 2015, and claimed she was retaliated against when she told a superior about the remark. Favale also allegedly speculated Stephen Colbert and actor Hugh Jackman were gay, citing Colbert’s “inability to interview women well.” He’s also accused of calling MSNBC host Rachel Maddow an “ugly man” and telling employees to only book “hot” women for appearances when discussing women’s rights activists. In a statement, Favale denied ever retaliating against anyone and said jokes he made were “taken out of context.”