PBS Host Tavis Smiley is staunchly against the network’s decision to suspend his show amid allegations of sexual misconduct. Smiley appeared on Good Morning America Monday (Dec 18) to defend his claims of innocence, reiterating his relationships were consensual and questioned PBS’ approach.
Smiley said although he supports the #MeToo movement that gave women the courage to speak up and open dialogue of how to create safe work spaces, he wants to make sure “nuances” don’t get lost in the sauce, causing false allegations.
“I certainly understand people that have the viewpoint that any consensual relationship in the workplace is wrong. There are some people who believe there are no such thing as a consensual relationship in the workplace,” he said. “In our (The Smiley Group Inc.) employee handbook, while we do not encourage office relationships, we don’t forbid them either.”
After receiving a complaint and conducting an independent investigation, a report by Variety found the network indefinitely suspended his eponymous late-night talk show amid sexual misconduct allegations.
He claimed he could provide documentation to investigators that proved his relationships were consensual, but they “refused to review any of my personal documentation.” Smiley told ABC he wasn’t made aware of the investigation and the network only agreed to hear his side of the story only after he threatened them with a lawsuit.
Smiley also took to Facebook to argue his innocence of any wrongdoing.