Tavis Smiley responds to suspension by PBS following sexual misconduct investigation
Just weeks after Charlie Rose was dismissed for sexual misconduct allegations, another high-profile PBS personality is facing the same.
The organization has suspended the late-night talk show Tavis Smiley, following an investigation into its eponymous host.
“Effective today, PBS has indefinitely suspended distribution of Tavis Smiley, produced by TS Media, an independent production company,” a PBS spokesperson said in a statement. “PBS engaged an outside law firm to conduct an investigation immediately after learning of troubling allegations regarding Mr. Smiley. This investigation included interviews with witnesses as well as with Mr. Smiley. The inquiry uncovered multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS, and the totality of this information led to today’s decision.”
According to Variety, which first reported the news, said investigation discovered “credible” allegations that Smiley, who has hosted the weeknight talk show since 2004, engaged in sexual relationships with multiple employees, with some of those interviewed worrying their jobs were tied to the status of their relationship with him. Many expressed concern of retaliation from Smiley, who has also been accused of “creating a verbally abusive and threatening environment.”
Early Thursday morning, Smiley released the following statement, claiming he was blindsided by PBS’ decision and denying the allegations: