NPR News Interviews Dinah Kirgo In the first interview she's given since Ronan Farrow's New Yorker article was published, Emmy-winning writer Dinah Kirgo told NPR's Michel Martin about her encounter with Leslie Moonves.
NPR logo NPR News Interviews Dinah Kirgo

NPR News Interviews Dinah Kirgo

Sunday, July 29;Washington, D.C. - In the first interview she's given since Ronan Farrow's New Yorker article was published, Emmy-winning writer Dinah Kirgo told NPR's Michel Martin about her encounter with Leslie Moonves. The interview will air on this evening's edition of All Things Considered.

Stations and broadcast times are available at NPR.org/stations.

Excerpts of the interview are available below and can be cited with attribution to NPR.

On her meeting with Leslie Moonves and her writing partner/sister Julie Kirgo:

"Julie and Leslie and I all felt really great after the meeting. You know, it went really well. We had known him you know not well but we were friendly with him. And so Julie and I both felt like, okay I think this is where we're going to be for a while. And I got home from the meeting in mid-afternoon and my phone was ringing and it was Leslie. And he said, 'Boy what a great meeting.' I said, 'I know we're really excited about working with you.' And he said, 'Well I think we should have a dinner.' And I said, 'great, Julie and I would love to have dinner with you.' And he said, 'no just you and me.' And that kind of floored me. And I'm not actually sure what I said in response, but he said 'look you're...you're really expensive and I need to know you're worth it.' And that really shook me up a bit. And I said something like, 'Leslie I don't think your wife would appreciate that kind of dinner.' And the conversation ended and he went from being very friendly to being really cold, and I never heard from him again. Julie never heard from him again and obviously we never worked together."

On how Moonves retaliated against her:

"Well, in just the simple fact that he didn't hire us. After he had been rebuffed by me there was no offer forthcoming. So to say that he's not responsible for damaging anybody's career...if you're not getting employed because you've rebuffed somebody, that's damage."

On what it's been like for her since Ronan Farrow's article was published on Friday:

"I did not read Ronan Farrow's article until Friday, and I actually was just completely sickened by the stories of the other women. And I sort of felt like, God my story is so minor and I was lucky in that my sister and I were in this meeting together, so nothing happened to me physically with Leslie. But I was just so disturbed and people think that we're trying to take these guys down and that is, at least in my case, that is so not true. It's about stopping this behavior.

On how this experience affected her life:

"I think that it's never gone away. It's just like, it was this incident. At the time I had a strong reaction to it obviously, but I was able to brush it off because I continued to work. But the thing is... is that sometimes you think it's easier to let things go and then one day it just isn't anymore. And when the whole Harvey Weinstein story broke it just pushed all the buttons. And I just said this is the time — finally. You know there is now a support system. The Writer's Guild of America they formed a sexual harassment task force within the last year. And you know if I had had any kind of support back then I hope I would have been able to take advantage of it, but I just didn't know what to do. I didn't even think there was anything I could do."

On what she hopes will happen now:

"Well, I'm hoping that it's just not easy anymore. This world is such a rarefied world, but I know this happens everywhere, but I think as much as we can keep this at the center of things. I'm sitting here going are we in the middle of this? Are we at the beginning of this story? I'm not sure where we are, but as uncomfortable as it is, I think we need to keep it out there, so that if people even think about doing this kind of thing and thinking it's okay they'll have a second thought about it."

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