Unlike the responses from many of the men accused of harassment in the past month, or from the companies that have employed, the response from Rhodes is unwavering, setting a powerful example for the managers and business leaders who inevitably will be called upon to send such messages in the future. (As for Rose, he disputed unspecified portions of the claims against him but apologized and said he was embarrassed by his behavior. You can read his full response to the allegations here.)

Rhodes’ memo about CBS News’ decision hits the mark on almost every account.

However, Rhodes’ email misses one essential element: An acknowledgment that “what should not have ever been acceptable” includes the hiring, promoting, and celebrating of known—or even just suspected—predators by other powerful men.

Unsubstantiated stories about Rose’s behavior had been circulating for years. An employee at Quartz who never met Rose or his staff at The Charlie Rose Show recalls hearing rumors of his handsiness in the early 2000s when she worked in the building where Rose taped his show. Is it plausible that the senior media industry executives who knew Rose and enabled him were unaware of his reputation?

A spokeswoman for CBS denied that the network “had any knowledge of any claims of sexual harassment” against Rose. “We did not know.”

Perhaps not. But this “reckoning,” as CBS morning show co-anchor Norah O’Donnell referred to it, requires more than just women to stand up and tell their stories. It will even require more than the systematic abusers admitting fault. It will require a change in what is and is not acceptable to the powerful men—of which there are almost always many—who knew about or heard rumors of harassment and chose to ignore it, or just couldn’t see it, whether because of their fear of repercussions, their doubt of women, their general tolerance for abusive behavior by men, or their blind pursuit of good ratings.

Until powerful men begin admitting they have been complicit, knowingly or otherwise, in systemized assault and harassment by others, cultural tides and workplace dynamics will not fully shift.

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