PBS Suspends Tavis Smiley Talk Show After “Credible Allegations” Of Misconduct
LOS ANGELES (CBS News) — PBS said Wednesday it has indefinitely suspended distribution of Tavis Smiley’s talk show after an independent investigation uncovered “multiple, credible allegations” of misconduct by its host.
PBS said it had engaged an outside law firm to investigate “troubling allegations” against the host, it said in a statement.
“This investigation included interviews with witnesses as well as with Mr. Smiley,” the statement said. “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.”
A representative for PBS declined to specify the nature of the allegations against Smiley.
His nightly program has aired on PBS since 2004 and airs on public television stations nationwide.
Representatives for Smiley did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Variety cites sources closes to the Tavis Smiley production that an law firm took reports from 10 witnesses — a mix of men and women with differing races and employment levels within Smiley’s organization. Most of them are former staffers.
Variety reports that an investigation found that Smiley had sexual relationships with multiple subordinates and that some witnesses feared that their employment status was linked to the status of a sexual relationship with the TV and radio host.