'I Intend To Fight Back': Tavis Smiley Responds To Sexual Misconduct Allegations
— Tavis Smiley (@tavissmiley) December 14, 2017
Tavis Smiley has responded to allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
In a lengthy video that was posted on both Facebook and Twitter, the late night show host responded to the accusations, writing in the video’s post:
“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. Never. Ever. Never.”
On Wednesday came the announcement that Smiley’s self-titled show on PBS would no longer be distributed after “multiple, credible” allegations of sexual misconduct were uncovered in an investigation into Smiley’s behavior.
As first reported by Variety:
“The investigation found credible allegations that Smiley had engaged in sexual relationships with multiple subordinates, sources said. Some witnesses interviewed expressed concern that their employment status was linked to the status of a sexual relationship with Smiley. In general, witnesses described Smiley as creating a verbally abusive and threatening environment that went beyond what could be expected in a typical high-pressure work environment. Several expressed concerns about retaliation.”
In a statement, PBS Vice President for Corporate Communications Jennifer R. Byrne said the company had hired an outside law firm to investigate 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,” Byrne said.
The news of Smiley’s alleged sexual misconduct comes shortly after a report that revealed Russell Simmons allegedly raped three women.