Former Talk Show Host Tavis Smiley is in the news again and this time not for good reasons. According to recent report findings on nbc.com courtesy of a PBS-hired external investigator, alleged was misconduct dating back decades centered around inappropriate sexual comments, touching, verbal abuse as well as sexual relationships with guests and subordinates. That’s the tip of the ice berg for these Tavis Smiley allegations.
In case you haven’t been following along, the 55-year-old Indiana University alum was indefinitely suspended by PBS back in December of 2017, when they were first alerted of Tavis Smiley engaging in multiple relationships with subordinates, some of whom felt the relationship was connected to their employment.
Following this, PBS issued a statement at the time stating, “immediately after learning of troubling allegations regarding Mr. Smiley” and that this investigation “uncovered multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS.”
The ongoing battle between Tavis Smiley and his legal team and that of PBS’ has been a knock down, drag out fight. Smiley sued the network after the Tavis Smiley Show was cut, claiming the company’s sexual misconduct allegations were “a pretext to finally rid themselves of Mr. Smiley, who was not the ‘team player’ type of African American personality PBS preferred to have hosting a nightly national news and public affairs program.”
PBS didn’t take that laying down and counter-sued for nearly $2 million in production advances it wanted returned, claiming Smiley had broken the morals clause in his contract.
In spite of the sexual misconduct allegations, Tavis Smiley has not owned or admitted to any wrong doing, once going so far as admitting during a interview on the Tucker Carson show that even if he had relationships with colleagues or guests, it was consensual. “I certainly understand that there are persons who believe that there is no such thing as a consensual relationship in the workplace… But there are other opinions on this.”
Responding to the recent report, Tavis Smiley posted on social media, “A weak case you play in the press, a strong case you play out in a court of law,” he said. “I look forward to my day in court February 10, which I have finally been granted, after 2 years of fighting.”
Parlé magazine will continue to monitor this story as more develops.
Image courtesy of Getty Images North America – Earl Gibson III / Contributor
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