Les Moonves, Carrying Only Hundred-Dollar Bills, Opts Not to Tip Valet

By Mark Joyella Comment

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It’s good to be on top. CBS president and CEO Les Moonves has a dominant network in primetime, and a salary of $67 million (in 2013). So he’s doing well.

CBS president and CEO Les Moonves could certainly afford to overtip. For Moonves, with a 2013 salary of $67 million, carrying a wallet full of hundred-dollar bills must feel something like a regular person carrying singles. And yet, that didn’t mean he was willing to part with one of them, even in an awkward situation–which was being caught on camera.

Defamer posted a video of Moonves–describing him as an “ultra-millionaire” who, upon leaving a birthday party for Sumner Redstone, was “briefly forced to interact with a non-millionaire, and was caught off guard.” That is, he didn’t have bills small enough to tip the valet:

He looks at the valet. The valet looks at him. He keeps looking at the valet, apparently waiting for the valet to give Moonves permission not to tip him.

The valet mumbles some words of comfort (what sounds like, in a moment of pure grace, “Get it next time sir, no worries”) to the multi-multi-millionaire chief TV executive, and gently places a hand on his shoulder in support, as though he is sorry to have put Les Moonves in a situation where he almost had to give him $100.

“I’ll get you next time, cheers” nods Moonves, immediately stuffing the money back into his pocket.

Guess he’ll get him next time.

While it’s amusing to ponder the ethics of choosing to stiff the valet rather than overtip, the reality is there were probably a dozen ways Moonves could have handled the situation that wouldn’t have made such a wrapped-up-with-a-bow Defamer post. There’s the always-easy question, “can you break a hundred?” There’s the “hey, let me ask one of the other media titans in attendance if they can break a hundred.” Or, at the very least, “let me get your contact info and I’m going to take care of you, my friend. Would $20 and tickets to see Late Late Show with James Corden be fair?”

But that may just be the musing of a man who doesn’t carry the big bills.

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