CBS' CEO Leslie Moonves on 'Big Brother' Racist Remarks: 'It Makes Us Uncomfortable'

CBS' CEO Leslie Moonves on 'Big Brother' Racist Remarks: 'It Makes Us Uncomfortable'

Calling the behavior of certain contestants on the show 'absolutely appalling,' Moonves thinks they've handled the controversy properly.

The "Big Brother" racial controversy was one of the topics discussed during CBS' presentation at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves, taking over for CBS entertainment chief Nina Tassler who attended a funeral, personally found "some of the behavior absolutely appalling."

" 'Big Brother' is obviously a social experiment, it always was. Clearly that's what's happening this year," he said. "What you see there, I think it, unfortunately, is reflective of how certain people feel in America. It's what our show is. I think we've handled it properly. Obviously, a lot of it makes us uncomfortable ... we did not comment on some of the racial things being said until it really affected what was going on in the household."

Asked if casting directors sometimes "try too hard" to cast provocative personalities, Moonves answered, "There's no such thing as trying too hard. Obviously, you don't want wallflowers on reality shows. You're going to take people that are interesting. You know, sometimes that leads to controversy."

Also at the panel, Moonves confirmed that "Beverly Hills Cop" is dead. "We do a lot of pilots and the best go on the air and we felt that we had better choices than that pilot," he said of the project adapted from Eddie Murphy's movie.

When touching the subject of the "Late Night" show wars on other networks, he said CBS had no intention to replace David Letterman. "I consider Letterman to be the best guy in late night. He's our guy and despite what people think, we don't like drama at 11:30," Moonves told reporters. "Dave is still making money for us. He still does the best show. We're very happy to have him."

The network has additionally given a vote of confidence to "Under the Dome", renewing the summer drama for second season which will air next year. "This is the way television should be," Moonves gushed. Stephen King, author of the novel on which the show is based, will write the season 2 premiere.



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