By: Kayla Reyes
Whitney Davis is done being quiet! She has taken it upon herself to reflect on her experience working at CBS and has written a letter describing the toxic culture at the network.
Davis started her media career at CBS and was working for the network for 13 years. She was a CBS executive and left the company in February. She decided to part ways with the network when sexual-misconduct allegations against CEO Leslie Moonves surfaced and not all forms of discrimination were acknowledged. She stated “CBS has a white problem.”
During Davis' 13 years at CBS, she stated she faced countless acts of racial discrimination and sexual harassment. At an entry-level role, Davis remembers one of her co-workers telling her “My dad has f—ed black women, and he loved it.” She never reported the inappropriate behavior because she didn’t want to lose her job. She continued to work hard and was able to create a positive reputation for herself in the newsroom. She was known as “a go-getter, someone who met deadlines, thrived under pressure and worked well with others.”
Although she successfully covered important stories, she was denied to travel for others and was told by Bill Felling, then the national editor, “I’m not going to waste the company’s money for you to go there and fail.” Davis didn’t let anything knock her down. She continued to be successful and persevere through the difficult times until one of her white colleagues used the N-word in her presence. Davis decided to speak with a senior executive in the news division about the situation, but was told she “should have thicker skin.”
Time after time Davis felt disrespected, unappreciated, and mistreated as an employee at CBS. With the encouragement from her husband, she determined that her integrity and the power of her voice and experience were worth more than any dollar CBS was willing to part with.
Whitney Davis story is one that needs to be shared, so there can be change within the industry. Let us know what you think about her letter.