PBS told Variety that “Effective today [Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017], PBS has indefinitely suspended distribution of ‘Tavis Smiley’ produced by TS Media, an independent production company. 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.”
The Variety story — an exclusive by Daniel Holloway — adds: “The investigation found credible allegations that Smiley had engaged in sexual relationships with multiple subordinates, sources said. Some witnesses interviewed expressed concern that their employment status was linked to the status of a sexual relationship with Smiley. In general, witnesses described Smiley as creating a verbally abusive and threatening environment that went beyond what could be expected in a typical high-pressure work environment. Several expressed concerns about retaliation.”
Variety also notes: “Smiley’s public radio program, ‘The Tavis Smiley Show,’ was distributed by Public Radio International from 2005 to 2013. He originally came to prominence the the mid-1990s as the host of ‘BET Tonight,’ an evening public affairs program on the African American-oriented cable channel.”
Smiley did not respond to Variety or a number of other publications that followed up on the story.
Last month PBS fired talk show host Charlie Rose after a number of sexual misconduct allegations.
To read more about this item please click here, which takes you to Holloway’s original Variety story.
(on CNN in 2016, found on YouTube)