PBS Suspends Tavis Smiley Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Tavis Smiley says he is just as shocked as we are after PBS suspended him over sexual misconduct allegations.
Variety broke the story on Wednesday reporting:
PBS has suspended late-night talk show “Tavis Smiley” amid misconduct allegations against its host and namesake.
“Effective today, PBS has indefinitely suspended distribution of ‘Tavis Smiley,’ produced by TS Media, an independent production company,” the public broadcaster said. “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.”
Sources close to the production told Variety that PBS hired attorney Sarah Taylor Wirtz of the firm MSK to oversee an investigation into Smiley’s behavior after receiving allegations of misconduct by Smiley, who hosts and produces the talk show. Wirtz declined Variety‘s request for comment. According to sources, MSK took reports from 10 witnesses, a mix of men and women of different races and employment levels in Smiley’s organization, most of them former staffers.
Tavis took to Facebook to respond to the suspension with an official statement accompanied by a short video where he stated, “I have never groped, coerced, or exposed myself inappropriately to any workplace colleague in my entire broadcast career.”
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