Friday, 22 June, 2018

Tavis Smiley: 'PBS Made A Huge Mistake'

ABC Tavis Smiley defended himself against sexual harassment accusations during a live interview on ABC Tavis Smiley defended himself against sexual harassment accusations during a live interview on"Good Morning America on Monday Dec. 18 2017
Terence Owen | 19 December, 2017, 00:31

"PBS made a huge mistake", Tavis Smiley told ABC's Good Morning America on Monday, in his first live interview since PBS suspended distribution of his interview program indefinitely, over sexual misconduct allegations. The Tavis Smiley Show has aired on PBS for 14 seasons.

"The totality of the investigation, which included Mr. Smiley, revealed a pattern of multiple relationships with subordinates over many years, and other conduct inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS", the statement said.

He says he applauds women coming forward to share their sexual assault and harassment experiences "to lead us in a conversation about how to create healthy workspaces".

During a live interview on "Good Morning America" Monday, Smiley, 53, Smiley admitted to having consensual relationships with coworkers over the years but denied that he has ever wielded his power as their boss to coerce those relationships.

'My company - let me be clear, I own my company and PBS distributes it - in our employee handbook while we do not encourage office relationships we don't forbid them either and don't forbid them because I don't know where your heart will lead you or who you will hang out with or date'.

Smiley refuted claims that he has created a hostile work environment, saying, "The environments are intense at times", but adding, "I'm not an angry black man and this notion of a hostile environment just doesn't fit".

Smiley hosted Tavis Smiley, a half-hour interview program that premiered in 2004 and aired weeknights on PBS stations until it was suspended on December 13. "They need to correct it", he said.

Smiley vowed on GMA that he'll "do anything to protect" his reputation. "I never gave any favoritism upward or downward", he said.

Vigil held for slain National Basketball Association player Lorenzen Wright
She is being held in the Riverside County, California , Jail pending extradition proceedings, the district attorney's office said. They didn't send a patrol officer or relay the information to Memphis police until days later.

Responding to allegations that he sent lewd messages or commented inappropriately on women's' bodies, Smiley said he "has no idea" about the basis of the claims. "In consensual relationships, we use text messages to communicate", he told Faris. I hear that point of view and I respect it but there are other points of view on this, ' said Smiley. "Their mind was made up".

Talk Show Host Tavis Smiley hosts a PBS Special "Courting Justice" at Loyola Law School, June 10, 2016 in Los Angeles.

"We take these issues very seriously and are troubled by the recent allegations", the company said in a statement obtained by ABC News.

"I'm human. I'm not flawless but this doesn't rise to the level" of sexual misconduct, Smiley said of his past relationships.

In contrast, PBS has been consistent: PBS stands by the integrity of its investigation, which has been conducted by an outside firm with expertise in such matters.

A sponsor for his talk show, Walmart, paused their relationship with him in light of the investigation. "As a result, we are suspending our relationship with Mr. Smiley, pending the outcome of the PBS investigation".

Tavis Smiley is defending himself following the suspension of his PBS talk show over allegations of sexual misconduct.

PBS is the distributor for Smiley's show, but it's produced by TS Media, Smiley's production company.

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