BREAKING NEWS : Fort Wayne SWAT spraying, throwing tear gas at George Floyd protesters Full Story

Tavis Smiley's show suspended by PBS amid misconduct allegations

PBS has suspended distribution of "Tavis Smiley" amid "troubling allegations" against the news show's namesake host....

Posted: Dec 14, 2017 1:13 PM
Updated: Dec 14, 2017 1:13 PM

PBS has suspended distribution of "Tavis Smiley" amid "troubling allegations" against the news show's namesake host.

The organization said Wednesday that it had hired an outside law firm to handle an investigation into the matter.

"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," a statement from PBS reads.

No details about the allegations were released. But Variety, which first reported PBS' suspension of Smiley's show, cited anonymous sources as saying that the investigation "found credible allegations that Smiley had engaged in sexual relationships with multiple subordinates."

In a statement posted on his official Facebook page Wednesday night, Smiley said he was "as shocked as anyone else by PBS' announcement."

"I have never groped, coerced, or exposed myself inappropriately to any workplace colleague in my entire broadcast career, covering 6 networks over 30 years," he said. "Never. Ever. Never."

Smiley, 53, is a longtime radio commentator, TV talk show host and author. His 30-minute interview show, "Tavis Smiley," has aired weeknights on PBS since 2004.

Related: Six women sue Harvey Weinstein and his company in class action lawsuit

He's known for addressing social justice issues, including race relations and poverty.

In his statement, Smiley said that "if having a consensual relationship with a colleague years ago is the stuff that leads to this kind of public humiliation and personal destruction, heaven help us."

He criticized PBS for its handling of the situation, saying he only learned about the investigation from former staffers and didn't get a proper chance to defend himself.

"This has gone too far. And, I, for one, intend to fight back," he said. "It's time for a real conversation in America, so men and women know how to engage in the workplace. I look forward to actively participating in that conversation."

Smiley's written statement was accompanied by a video of him addressing the allegations.

PBS wasn't immediately available for comment outside of regular office hours early Thursday.

PBS is the distributor for Smiley's show, but it's produced by TS Media, Smiley's production company. Smiley is not employed by PBS.

TS Media could not be immediately reached Wednesday.

Smiley's career includes a stint hosting a TV show on Black Entertainment Television in the 90s as well as a commentator at National Public Radio, ABC News, and CNN. In 2002, he became the first black man to host a show on NPR.

Related: CBS News and PBS fire Charlie Rose

Other high-profile figures in public broadcasting have also faced allegations of misconduct in recent months.

PBS' move to halt distribution of Smiley's show comes less than a month after it terminated its contract with Charlie Rose, who was accused of harassing multiple women by making unwanted sexual advances.

Rose said in a statement at the time that he "deeply apologized" for what he admitted was "inappropriate behavior."

-- Jethro Mullen contributed to this report.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 33558

Reported Deaths: 2110
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9616571
Lake3538185
Cass15897
Allen145168
St. Joseph124834
Elkhart116328
Hendricks116171
Hamilton115693
Johnson1093108
Madison58559
Porter51627
Bartholomew50034
Clark49241
LaPorte42423
Howard39526
Tippecanoe3903
Jackson3791
Delaware37736
Shelby36822
Hancock32728
Floyd31839
Boone30935
Morgan27824
Vanderburgh2652
Montgomery23517
White2318
Decatur22431
Clinton2231
Noble21121
Grant20621
Harrison19221
Dubois1923
Henry16910
Greene16824
Monroe16612
Warrick16628
Dearborn16621
Vigo1648
Lawrence15423
Miami1411
Putnam1367
Jennings1304
Orange12522
Scott1193
Kosciusko1111
Franklin1098
Ripley1086
Carroll922
Marshall901
Daviess8516
Steuben812
Newton7710
Wayne776
Fayette767
Wabash762
LaGrange712
Jasper651
Washington521
Jay500
Fulton481
Clay471
Rush462
Randolph463
Pulaski460
Jefferson431
Whitley393
Starke363
Sullivan341
Owen341
Brown331
DeKalb331
Perry310
Benton300
Knox290
Wells280
Huntington272
Tipton251
Crawford240
Blackford242
Fountain202
Switzerland200
Spencer191
Parke170
Posey160
Gibson142
Adams131
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0164

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 34566

Reported Deaths: 2131
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin5674256
Cuyahoga4318226
Marion265728
Hamilton2603147
Lucas2202240
Pickaway205036
Mahoning1405173
Summit1380172
Butler86229
Columbiana73951
Stark71691
Lorain67259
Montgomery65117
Trumbull56248
Belmont41912
Warren35920
Miami35530
Tuscarawas3393
Ashtabula33034
Medina32823
Portage32257
Delaware32013
Lake30212
Wood28546
Geauga27732
Wayne26650
Fairfield2586
Clark2526
Licking23010
Allen21232
Clermont2065
Mercer2037
Richland1973
Erie16711
Darke16721
Madison1527
Washington11819
Crawford1104
Morrow1051
Greene1015
Ottawa9513
Putnam9014
Monroe7712
Sandusky7311
Auglaize713
Hocking694
Ross682
Jefferson672
Huron561
Williams541
Union511
Muskingum500
Hancock501
Hardin450
Clinton430
Fayette400
Shelby403
Wyandot392
Fulton390
Coshocton380
Logan370
Preble351
Guernsey340
Defiance332
Holmes321
Carroll303
Lawrence300
Brown281
Champaign271
Knox241
Highland231
Ashland200
Seneca202
Vinton192
Perry181
Athens181
Henry150
Scioto150
Paulding140
Jackson130
Harrison100
Adams91
Gallia71
Van Wert60
Meigs60
Pike60
Noble60
Morgan50
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 55°
Angola
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 55°
Huntington
Few Clouds
57° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 57°
Decatur
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 59°
Van Wert
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 59°
Sunny & Pleasant Weekend
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events