'60 Minutes' producer alleges CBS News retaliated after she reported inappropriate behavior

'60 Minutes' producer alleges CBS News retaliated after she reported inappropriate behavior
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A producer at CBS News alleged in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that she was “ostracized, isolated and penalized” after reporting inappropriate behavior by a veteran "60 Minutes" producer.

Associate Producer Cassandra Vinograd, who previously worked for The Associated Press and NBC News, joined "60 Minutes" in its London bureau in June. Soon thereafter, senior producer Michael Gavshon engaged in inappropriate behavior that included sharing a photo in a text message of him and several friends urinating on a fire, according to the lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court. The photo was included as evidence in the lawsuit.
 
Vinograd, 35, said she was taken off of her regular workload after reporting the matter and asking for an investigation.
 
“We look forward to holding CBS accountable for its unlawful conduct as alleged in the complaint,” said Jeanne M. Christensen, a partner at Wigdor LLP, the New York-based law firm representing Vinograd. “Contrary to CBS’s claims that it is doing the right thing when female employees report gender-related misconduct, as alleged, it appears that no meaningful changes to the culture at CBS have been made. It appears that CBS continues to protect senior male talent at the expense of junior women – business as usual.”
 
CBS News provided a statement from Michael Gavshon to The Hill on Tuesday night regarding the photo that has been presented as evidence in Vinograd's lawsuit.
 
"At the end of September, I was speaking to my sister in Johannesburg on Whatsapp," Gavshon begins. "She and my elderly mother had returned from the funeral of a childhood friend. We were reminiscing and we decided to share some pictures of him. I sent her a picture of me with my friend who had just died and two others burning our school notebooks after our final high school exams. I was 17 years old at the time. In the photo, my friend who passed away and I were urinating on the fire – it was an act of immature adolescent rebellion 46 years ago." 

"An hour later, to my horror, I realized that I not only sent it to my sister, but I had accidentally included my colleague, Cassandra Vinograd, the associate producer with whom I work at 60 Minutes in London," he continued. "I immediately deleted the picture and apologized profusely. I was mortified. The following day I went in early and reported the incident. I cooperated with an investigation by the company and was told not to come into work during the course of the investigation. I continue to regret this mistake and sincerely apologize for it."
The network has been rocked by sexual harassment allegations in recent years.
 
 
In 2018, "60 Minutes" executive producer Jeff Fager and network CEO Les Moonves were ousted amid similar accusations.

All three have denied the allegations against them.
 
Updated: 9:02 p.m.