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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Tavis Smiley Responds to Allegations: “PBS Made a Big Mistake”

Tavis Smiley

Nationwide — Award-winning talk show host Tavis Smiley is defending himself against recent sexual misconduct allegations after PBS has indefinitely suspended the distribution of his show.

He initially posted a video message on Facebook where he said, “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 in a Facebook post.

Then, he did a live interview on “Good Morning America”, Smiley said, “I’ve never groped, I’ve never coerced” female staffers into sexual relations “in 30 years over six different networks.”

He admits having relationships with women who worked for him, but says that he can eaisly prove they were consensual “with letters, cards, gifts and, certainly, photographs.”

“PBS made a huge mistake here. They need to fix it. They need to correct it,” he said. “I’m going to do anything to protect my reputation.”

But a PBS spokesperson responded to his comments, saying, “PBS engaged an outside law firm to conduct an investigation immediately after learning of troubling allegations regarding Mr. Smiley. This investigation included interviews with witnesses as well as with Mr. Smiley. 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.”

PBS later released another statement saying: “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…”

In addition to the suspension of his show, his sponsorship support with Walmart and his relationship with Hay House Publishing is also in jeopardy.

Watch his GMA interview below: