PBS is not going to distribute Tavis Smiley following the news that a spokeswoman called "multiple, credible" allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct uncovered by a recent investigation into the late-night show host's behavior.
News of the suspension of Travis's show, which's been produced by TS Media, an independent production company, was first reported by Variety magazine.
PBS Host Tavis Smiley Suspended After Sexual Harassment & Misconduct Investigation
PBS Vice President for Corporate Communications Jennifer R. Byrne, in a statement, said that the company had engaged an outside law firm to investigate "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:
The investigation found credible allegations that Smiley had engaged in sexual relationships with multiple subordinates, sources said. Some witnesses interviewed expressed concern that their employment status was linked to the status of a sexual relationship with Smiley. In general, witnesses described Smiley as creating a verbally abusive and threatening environment that went beyond what could be expected in a typical high-pressure work environment. Several expressed concerns about retaliation.
In a lengthy statement and video posted on Twitter and Facebook, Tavis responded to the accusations, writing:
To be clear, I have never groped, coerced, or exposed myself inappropriately to any workplace colleague in my entire broadcast career, covering 6 networks over 30 years. Never. Ever. Never.
Here's the post, check it out.
Filmed in L.A., Tavis's half-hour show has been distributed by PBS since 2004 and airs in Southern California, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and in other areas of the country.
Tavis's suspension follows PBS' decision to separate with talk show Charlie Rose, who was accused of sexual harassment and misconduct by eight women cited by The Washington Post. After those allegations, Charlie was fired from CBS News and 60 Minutes.