Tavis Smiley Cops Pleas On Good Morning America, Denies Sexual Misconduct Allegations
19 December, 2017, 07:43 | Author: Julio Duncan
PBS engaged an outside law firm to conduct an investigation immediately after learning of troubling allegations regarding Mr. Smiley.
He also denied sending lewd text messages, as well as creating the hostile work environment witnesses described to Variety.
"They need to correct it", Smiley said Monday in an interview with "Good Morning America".
"Only under threat of lawsuit did they agree to sit down and talk to me", Smiley said, lamenting the fact that PBS did not allow him the chance to prove that his relationships were consensual.
"I certainly understand people who have a viewpoint that any consensual relationship in the workplace is wrong".
"And I don't think taxpayers want their money spent that way", Smiley said pointedly to Fox News Channel viewers.
In response to Smiley's explanation that his company did not prohibit relationships between employees because "I don't know where your heart's going to lead you", PBS's rep said the network was "certain that it should not lead to multiple sexual relationships between the owner of a company and subordinates over many years particularly where employment decisions may be linked to sex."...
"The environments are intense at times", he said.
He says he's human and has made mistakes but they don't merit suspension.
"In our employee handbook, while we do not encourage office relationships, we don't forbid them, either".
Smiley was also critical of the fact that news of his suspension from PBS broke on December 13 in Variety just minutes after the conclusion of that meeting.
"The totality of the investigation, which included a three-hour interview of Mr. Smiley, revealed multiple sexual relationships with subordinates over many years and other acts that together constitute a pattern of conduct inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS", a network spokesperson told ABC Newsin a statement.
A PBS spokeswoman said Smiley's latest comments contradict a previous Facebook post in which he said he had just one relationship with an employee.
Then, 12 minutes later, Smiley said a magazine already had the first "Exclusive" story on the matter.
"PBS stands by its decision to respect the anonymity of those who are afraid to come forward publicly".
He said he found out about the complaint through friends who were his former colleagues. They were prepared to close this investigation without talking to me.
"I apologized to her and the situation was resolved", Smiley said. Mills Entertainment, which produces live events, also pulled out of backing Smiley's theatrical production on Martin Luther King Jr.'s life, the Associated Press reported.
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