NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Latest on sexual misconduct allegations against Tavis Smiley (all times local):
PBS is firing back at Tavis Smiley, finding inconsistencies in the suspended TV host’s defence in the face of allegations he had sexual relationships with subordinates and created an abusive workplace environment.
Smiley told ABC’s “Good Morning America” Monday that he’s never coerced anyone but has had consensual relationships in the workplace. Hours later, the network said his acknowledgement of multiple relationships contradicted Smiley’s previous statements.
Says PBS: “Tavis Smiley needs to get his story straight.”
PBS also derided Smiley’s claim that he applauds women who have come forward, pointing out that Smiley’s company hinders such actions by requiring former and current employees to sign non-disclosure agreements.
PBS says it stands by the integrity of the investigation by a law firm that uncovered “multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS.”
Tavis Smiley says PBS made a big mistake by suspending him from his talk show.
He tells ABC’s “Good Morning America” Monday he’s never coerced anyone into a relationship but has had consensual relationships in the workplace. He says that wasn’t against his company’s policies.
He says he’s human and has made mistakes but they don’t merit suspension.
He says he applauds women coming forward to share their sexual assault and harassment experiences “to lead us in a conversation about how to create healthy workspaces.”
However he says it’s important not lose a sense of “proportionality” in the conversation, “because if we do people end up being guilty simply by accusation.”
PBS suspended Smiley after an investigation uncovered “multiple, credible allegations of conduct” inconsistent with PBS standards.
Smiley says he’ll fight to protect his reputation.