Two journalism schools have formally rescinded awards given to Charlie Rose in light of the numerous accusations of sexual misconduct against the former CBS newsman.
Christopher Callahan, dean of The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, announced Friday that Rose would be stripped of the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, which he had received in 2015.
The same day, Dean Ann Brill of The William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas announced the rescinding of Rose’s National Citation award, which was bestowed earlier this year.
“This unprecedented action is taken with the utmost seriousness and deliberation,” Callahan said in a statement. “We are not in the business of trying to rewrite history. The Cronkite Award is bestowed each year to celebrate a great journalist, our school, our students, our alumni and our profession. It is a lifetime achievement award. It does not come with term limits. It is given in perpetuity. The idea of ‘taking back’ a Cronkite Award is so foreign that the possibility was never even considered when the award was first created by Walter, the school and the Cronkite Endowment Board of Trustees more than 30 years ago.
“We give the award each year based on the knowledge we have of a recipient at that time,” he continued. “When new information about a recipient surfaces, the question we ask is not whether the award would be given again with a new set of facts, but whether the transgressions are so egregious that they demand nothing less than a reversal of history.”
Brill, who announced the decision made by the William Allen White Foundation Board of Trustees, said, “The trustees’ vote reflects the inscription on the citation. William Allen White was an important journalist who also felt that it was important to make a positive difference in the community.”
The Washington Post initially published claims from eight women who either worked or aspired to work for the Charlie Rose show on PBS. Rose allegedly made lewd phone calls, walked around naked in their presence, and groped their bodies — among other unwanted behavior.
Since then, three other women came forward after an internal investigation at CBS, and a former intern at Charlie Rose stated the newsman forced her to watch an explicit film scene when she delivered mail to his apartment one night.
“In my 45 years in journalism, I have prided myself on being an advocate for the careers of the women with whom I have worked. Nevertheless, in the past few days, claims have been made about my behavior toward some former female colleagues. It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior,” Rose said in a statement.
“I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate,” he continued. “I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken.”