PBS suspends 'Tavis Smiley' show amid allegations of sexual misconduct

PBS Suspends Tavis Smiley's Show After Sexual Misconduct Investigation

PBS has suspended airing of the late-night talk show "Tavis Smiley" while it investigates allegations of misconduct against Smiley, the show's host. The probe revealed allegations that Smiley had engaged in sexual relationships with multiple subordinates, Variety reported, citing unnamed sources.

CNN reports PBS, "said WEDNESDAY that it had hired an outside law firm to handle an investigation into the matter".

Smiley said he was blindsided by the suspension and was made aware of the investigation into his behavior by former colleagues who said an investigator asked them about Smiley's conduct. The network said it had indefinitely suspended its distribution of the show after the inquiry uncovered allegations that were "inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS".

"Tavis Smiley" has aired nightly on various PBS stations since 2004, but the network only distributes the show and doesn't finance its production or employ Smiley or his employees.

"I have the utmost respect for all women, and I certainly celebrate the courage of those who have come forth as of late to share their own truth", Smiley said in a video posted to Facebook and Twitter.

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He also said that Smiley considered himself bulletproof with PBS.

Variety reported that the investigation included reports from 10 witnesses who worked in Smiley's organization, majority former staffers. Indeed, I learned more about these allegations reading the Variety story than the PBS investigator shared with me, the accused, in our 3 hour face to face meeting. And, I, for one, intend to fight back. It's time for a real conversation in this country about where the lines are, about how men and women can engage each other in the workplace.

Put simply, PBS overreacted and conducted a biased and sloppy investigation, which led to a rush to judgment, and trampling on a reputation that I have spent an entire lifetime trying to establish.

"PBS investigators refused to look at any of my documentation, refused to talk to any of my current staffers, refused to give me the names of any of my accusers and refused to give me any semblance of due process", he added.

It's unclear whether the allegations against Smiley will affect that deal.

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