PBS Suspends Tavis Smiley Show Amid Sexual Misconduct Claims

Lawrence Kim
December 14, 2017

Amid sexual-misconduct allegations, PBS has made a decision to suspend late-night talk show Travis Smileyindefinitely, reports Variety. "PBS engaged an outside law firm to conduct an investigation immediately after learning of troubling allegations regarding Mr. Smiley". The interviewees were reportedly of different genders, races and employment roles within Smiley's production company.

PBS does not produce, fund, or employ Smiley or his staff, but they do distribute the "Tavis Smiley" program, according to the outlet.

Representatives for Smiley did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment.

The investigation found credible allegations that Smiley had engaged in sexual relationships with multiple subordinates, sources said. Several witnesses indicated concern for retaliation for their depiction of interacting with Smiley, who was described as fostering a verbally abusive and threatening workplace.

PBS declined to discuss the nature of the allegations.

Tavis has hosted the half-hour interview program, which has received four NAACP Image Awards, since 2004.

Smiley's career includes a stint hosting a TV show on Black Entertainment Television in the 90s as well as a commentator at National Public Radio, ABC News, and CNN.

Tavis Smiley has been airing weeknights on PBS for 14 years. Hyzagi wrote that "Tavis' misogyny is always creeping around, barely camouflaged by Midwestern good manners".

The announcement comes just one month after PBS sacked long-time talk show host Charlie Rose over sexual misconduct allegations.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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