Tavis Smiley: 'PBS Made A Huge Mistake'

Tavis Smiley: 'PBS Made A Huge Mistake'

Darren Sullivan
December 19, 2017

Making the media rounds as he argued his side of the situation, Smiley has said PBS reps met with him for that length of time, only after his reps threatened to sue if they did not. "They need to fix this, they need to correct it".

Smiley has defended himself against the allegations, telling ABC's "Good Morning America" that PBS made a mistake in suspending his show.

Smiley was also critical of the fact that news of his suspension from PBS broke on December 13 in Variety just minutes after the conclusion of that meeting. Tavis was also accused of creating a threatening and verbally abusive work environment.

Shortly after the interview aired, PBS released a statement through a spokesman which stated in no uncertain terms that it stands by its actions against Smiley.

He admitted that he has had consensual sexual relationships with subordinates, but he said those relationships were neither prohibited nor coerced.

He noted that one woman with whom he had a romantic relationship still works for him now. "I don't know who you're going to hang out with, or date, or fall in love with", Smiley said on "Good Morning America".

Smiley said he can prove his relationships with employees were consensual "with letters, cards, gifts and, certainly, photographs".

He added that during those relationships, he never instructed the "team" that runs his company on any employment matters.

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PBS fired back Monday, saying in a statement that Smiley "needs to get his story straight". This contradicts his Facebook post from last week, where he cited only one previous relationship with an employee.

Host fighting sexual misconduct allegations.

"Following receipt of a complaint, PBS hired an independent law firm to conduct an investigation, and we stand by its integrity". Just hours after NBC's announcement, Minnesota Public Radio fired former "Prairie Home Companion" host Garrison Keillor over alleged "inappropriate behavior" with a colleague.

First, Smiley denies ever groping women.

"I have the utmost respect for all women, and I certainly celebrate the courage of those women who've come forth of late to share their truth", Smiley said in a video on Thursday. "In 30 years, over six different networks, there has never been any allegation of that", Smiley said.

"I don't know how you write a story, research a story, get quotes from unnamed sources, presumably at PBS, put links in the story and do all that in 12 minutes", he said.

PBS suspended Smiley after an investigation uncovered "multiple, credible allegations of conduct" inconsistent with PBS standards. Tavis was accused of sexual relations with "multiple subordinates" and "some witnesses interviewed expressed concern that their employment status was linked to the status of a sexual relationship with Smiley".

Walmart, which had been sponsoring Smiley's talk show, and a book distributor have since distanced themselves from Smiley.