Tavis Smiley says: “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.”
PBS’ reply? Tavis Smiley “needs to get his story straight,” and Smiley’s “own words” confirm PBS’ actions.
After suspending distribution of his LA-filmed talk show in the wake of “troubling allegations,” PBS is showing teeth as it responds to Smiley’s comments on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
First, Smiley denies ever groping women.
“I have never coerced or exposed myself to anyone inappropriately,” he said Monday. “I celebrate and applaud the women that came out and told the truth and lead us to create healthy workspaces. At the same time, I want to make sure we don’t lose all proportionality in this because if we do, people end up guilty by accusation.”
But a PBS spokeswoman told CNN: “Tavis Smiley needs to get his story straight. First, today on ‘Good Morning America,’ Mr. Smiley acknowledged he has had multiple sexual encounters with his employees… This contradicts his Facebook post from last week, where he cited only one previous relationship with an employee.”
Smiley vowed on GMA that he’ll “do anything to protect” his reputation. But he said he didn’t know whether he would go back to PBS if invited.
“PBS made a huge mistake,” Smiley said. “They need to fix this. They need to correct this. But I don’t know the answer.”
PBS replied: “Mr. Smiley’s own words today coupled with the information discovered during the investigation confirms PBS’ decision to indefinitely suspend the distribution of ‘Tavis Smiley.'”
Tavis Smiley pushes back against allegations of sexual misconduct: “I have never groped, I have never coerced, I have never exposed myself inappropriately…I celebrate and applaud these women who’ve had the courage to come out and tell their truth.” pic.twitter.com/VNuxgQczrS
— Good Morning America (@GMA) December 18, 2017
— Tavis Smiley (@tavissmiley) December 14, 2017
PBS’ statement to @maeve_mcdermott about Tavis Smiley is brutal – the network criticizes the NDAs he made staffers sign, says more women have come forward recently, and adds that Smiley “needs to get his story straight”https://t.co/wdhhbBUeCk pic.twitter.com/TJyfsyQXZ1
— Max Tani (@maxwelltani) December 18, 2017
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