Tavis Smiley Suspended, Says, 'This Has Gone Too Far'

PBS host vows to fight back after sexual misconduct claims
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2017 12:37 AM CST
PBS Suspends Tavis Smiley After Misconduct Allegations
"This has gone too far," Smiley says.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Another TV host has been suspended amid accusations of sexual misconduct—and PBS has another hole in its schedule. The broadcaster announced Wednesday that production of Tavis Smiley's self-titled late-night show was suspended with immediate effect after an outside investigation of "troubling allegations" uncovered "multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS." Sources tell Variety that investigators from the law firm MSK spoke to 10 witnesses, mostly former Smiley staffers, and were told that he had engaged in sexual relationships with several subordinates, some of whom believed their employment depended on the relationship.

Witnesses also said Smiley, whose show has been airing weeknights since 2004, created a verbally abusive environment, the sources say. In a Facebook post Wednesday, Smiley said he was "as shocked as anybody else" by the move and blasted the broadcaster for not informing him of the "so-called investigation," CNN reports. "I have never groped, coerced, or exposed myself inappropriately to any workplace colleague in my entire broadcast career," he wrote, saying that if "having a consensual relationship with a colleague years ago is the stuff that leads to this kind of public humiliation and personal destruction, heaven help us." He added: "This has gone too far. And I, for one, intend to fight back." (PBS fired Charlie Rose after he was accused of misconduct by at least a dozen women.)

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