PBS suspended “Tavis Smiley” show distribution amidst new troubling allegations the namesake host of the new show is facing.
The organization on Wednesday said that it hired a law firm to carry out an investigation of those allegations.
The inquiry was able to uncover several, credible allegations of his conduct that were inconsistent with standards and values of PBS, and information in the inquiry led to the decision take by PBS, read a complete statement.
No details related to the allegations had been released by PBS, but Variety, the first to report the suspension by PBS of Smiley’s show, said that anonymous sources said that the inquiry was able to find credible allegations Smiley had sexual relations with more than one subordinate.
In prepared statement that was posted on Facebook last Wednesday, Smiley wrote he had been as shocked by the announcement PBS made.
The statement added that he never had coerced, groped or exposed himself inappropriately to any of his colleagues in the workplace in his entire career in broadcasting that covers six networks over a period of 30 years.
Smiley is a veteran commentator on radio, talk show host on television, and author. An interview show of 30 minutes, “Tavis Smiley,” airs weeknights since 2004 on PBS.
He is known for taking on social injustices that include poverty and race relations.
In a prepared statement, Smiley stated if having relationships that are consensual years ago with a colleague are stuff leading to this type of personal destruction and humiliation, heaven please help us.
Smiley was critical of PBS for how it handled the situation. He said he just learned of the situation from former employees and did not receive proper chance to say or do anything to defend himself.
He added in his criticism of PBS that this had gone too far. He for one intended to fight it. He called for real conversations in the U.S., so males and females are aware of the best way to engage while at the workplace.
The written statement by Smiley accompanied a video of Smiley addressing these allegations against him.
PBS distributes Smiley’s show, but it is produced at TS Media, a production company of Smiley’s and Smiley isn’t a PBS employee.
Smiley’s career has included stints hosting a show on television on BET and as a commentator with ABC News, CNN and National Public Radio.