Talk show host Tavis Smiley has been indefinitely suspended from PBS amid ‘troubling’ allegations that he has sexually harassed show employees and retaliated against those who turned down his advances.
Officials at PBS recently contracted a law firm after they received a series of shocking claims that Smiley had created a hostile work environment and engaged in sexual relationships with several subordinates.
“The inquiry uncovered multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS,” a spokesperson told the Daily News.
The spokesperson declined to elaborate on the allegations but sources told Variety Magazine that Smiley, who has hosted his namesake PBS show since 2004, would use his status to coax subordinates into having sex with him.
Some of the witnesses told the magazine that they felt like their employment depended on the status of their sexual relationship with Smiley. They also claimed that Smiley was verbally abusive toward staffers and often retaliated against those who complained.
Smiley, 53, could not be reached for comment. His show, which airs weeknights on PBS member stations, has also been indefinitely suspended, the spokesperson said.
Smiley’s break with the network comes just weeks after PBS fired disgraced host Charlie Rose amid damning allegations that also he had sexually harassed staffers.
We have to admit, we did NOT expect this from Tavis Smiley.