Furlough from #MeToo jail is apparently a pretty cushy endeavor for Charlie Rose. The former CBS News and PBS host, who was fired last year after multiple women claimed he sexually harassed them, is apparently on the guest list for an elite gathering in Sun Valley, Idaho, in July — stirring up controversy about how quickly men accused of harassment are allowed to return to public life.
Rose, 76, is reportedly on the invite list of the boutique investment firm Allen & Company’s annual gathering of billionaires and business moguls in Sun Valley next month. A regular attendee of the event, he has yet again been invited to hobnob with powerful figures such as CBS CEO Les Moonves, Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and News Corp and 21st Century Fox media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his sons, Lachlan and James. Both Bloomberg and Variety reported the gathering’s guest list.
Harvey Weinstein, a regular attendee of the annual event, didn’t get asked back — apparently his arrest on charges of rape are too much for organizers to stomach. But Rose is invited, despite a pair of Washington Post exposés about him detailing years of sexual misconduct at work.
It’s not clear whether Rose will attend, but apparently he’s welcome to if he chooses.
Charlie Rose has been gone for about six months, and already we’re hearing about a comeback
The Charlie Rose redemption buzz — similar to that of many men accused of behaving badly — has emerged quickly since his November ouster from CBS and PBS.
In March, Hollywood mogul Barry Diller lamented in an interview with Maureen Dowd that after the accusations against him, “Charlie Rose ceases to exist.” In April, the Hollywood Reporter cast Rose’s post-#MeToo life as one of a “broken, powerful, old man” who is “desperately lonely.” The same month, Page Six reported that a pitch was making the rounds where Rose would interview other high-profile men brought down by the #MeToo movement.
The July Sun Valley summit, an annual event held by Allen & Company that has brought together powerful people for more than 30 years, could provide another forum for Rose to poke his head back out into the world. In previous years, he often hosted interviews with some of the event’s attendees.
Vanity Fair’s Joe Pompeo, citing regular Sun Valley guests, reported that there’s speculation Allen & Company invited Rose out of loyalty, given his past attendance and participation. Veteran NBC journalist Tom Brokaw, who has faced allegations of his own, has also been invited back. (The allegations against Brokaw were much more limited than those against Rose, and he pushed back against them heavily. More than 60 of his current and former colleagues, including Maria Shriver, Rachel Maddow, and Andrea Mitchell, wrote a letter defending him as a man of “tremendous decency and integrity.”)
Jerry Richardson, who in December agreed to sell the Carolina Panthers amid a workplace misconduct investigation, has been invited to Sun Valley again too.
Rose might not go, but why was he invited in the first place?
It’s not clear whether Rose will attend the event, and other business leaders who are invited are likely to face questions about whether they’ll still attend if he’s there.
Beyond the aforementioned attendees, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, General Motors CEO Mary Barra, and Berkshire Hathaway head Warren Buffett are also expected to attend. So are New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft, Apple chief executive Tim Cook, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
“I think if this is an attempt at courtesy, it just puts all the other guests there in an awkward position,” Kim Masters, a reporter on the #MeToo beat for the Hollywood Reporter, told Pompeo.
Of course, Rose’s invite should make other guests uncomfortable for more than the fact that it might make them look bad. He allegedly spent years harassing women who worked for him, groping them, walking around naked in their presence, and making unwanted sexual advances, including lewd phone calls. That’s a good reason to feel uncomfortable in his presence.