Tavis Smiley Releases Statement On Alleged Sexual Misconduct
Tavis Smiley is the latest public figure to come under fire for sexual misconduct allegations. According to Variety, former staffers claimed they witnessed several instances of Smiley’s alleged sexual misconduct and verbal abuse, which inspired PBS to launch an investigation. Smiley hosts a longstanding talk show on the public access network.
“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,” PBS’ statement reads.
Following the news, Smiley issued his own retort on the suspension, claiming his innocence. “I have the utmost respect for women and celebrate the courage of those who have come forth to tell their truth,” Smiley wrote per the Associated Press. “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.”
PBS’ investigation cites incidents of “sexual relationships with multiple subordinates,” Variety outlined. For 13 years, the Tavis Smiley program remained a staple PBS program.
Details are still forthcoming. Read Smiley’s full statement here.