Tavis SmileyLatest News and Opinion
Posted Friday 3/23/18 at 2:35PM EDT
PBS' countersuit against Tavis Smiley details his alleged sexual misconduct
The public broadcaster's 32-page response to Smiley's lawsuit includes witness statements and argues that Smiley violated its morals clause. As Michael O'Connell reports, "Smiley has been very public in his denial of sexual harassment allegations — allegations that took him off the air just weeks after a similar scenario saw Charlie Rose kicked off the broadcaster. Smiley has also said no complaints had been filed. But, among the more interesting pieces in the filing, is the detail that Smiley informed PBS' third-party investigator that he was the subject of two workplace discrimination or harassment/retaliation claims. The host also admits to 'probably' telling sex jokes in the workplace and that he 'may' have sent pornographic images to subordinates." PBS is also seeking $1.9 million in returned salary plus unspecified damages.
Posted Tuesday 2/20/18 at 9:05PM EST
Tavis Smiley sues PBS over his sexual misconduct firing, says it acted in "a racially hostile manner"
In his lawsuit, Smiley says PBS' sexual misconduct investigation that resulted in his termination was "poorly executed and incomplete." “Based on this incomplete, trumped-up investigation, and in violation of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, PBS decided to use a technical provision in its contract with (Travis Smiley Media) to stop distributing Tavis Smiley – the only nightly television show featuring a person of color as the host," the lawsuit states. The lawsuit also accuses PBS of acting in "a racially hostile manner" throughout the show's run. “For example, PBS harassed Mr. Smiley about inviting controversial African American figures on to his show," according to the lawsuit. "However, when Mr. Smiley brought equally controversial (if not more so) white figures, PBS remained silent." Smiley tells The Washington Post that filing a lawsuit was the last thing he wanted to do. “But litigation seems to be the only way to get at the truth," he said. A PBS spokesperson calls the lawsuit "meritless," saying that Smiley is attempting “to distract the public from his pattern of sexual misconduct in the workplace.”
Posted Sunday 1/28/18 at 3:52AM EST
Tavis Smiley to moderate an L.A. town hall on sexual harassment in the workplace -- despite his own sexual harassment scandal
Posted Tuesday 1/16/18 at 6:10PM EST
PBS boss addresses the Charlie Rose and Tavis Smiley sexual harassment scandals
PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger explained at the TV press tour that “we” first “learned of the issue with Charlie Rose the morning they actually wrote the story in The Washington Post." The Smiley situation was different, however, because a complaint was lodged directly with PBS, resulting in a third-party investigation that found more accusations. Kerger further said that despite PBS distributing independently produced programs, “that does not absolve us from the responsibility of trying to ensure that we are supporting a culture where people are respected.”
Posted Monday 1/08/18 at 5:52PM EST
Tavis Smiley announces a new inspirational TV series: The Upside with Tavis Smiley
One month after his PBS talk show was removed over his sexual harassment scandal, Smiley says he’s coming back with a new show on the black-themed religious-oriented The Word Network.
Posted Thursday 12/21/17 at 10:23PM EST
Late-night talk shows are “the last bastion of the patriarchy”
“Late-night talk shows remain firmly in the grip of the patriarchy,” says Aaron Barnhart, who notes that the last time a woman headlined a network late-night show was in 2001. Barnhart says he "added up the combined tenures of every female host in the history of late-night talk shows and got a total of 14 years... Jimmy Kimmel Live will mark 15 years next month.” The lack of women in late-night, he adds, “means something at a time when many are seeking to change the conversation about women in our culture. What better way than to have women leading the conversation?”
# TOPICS: Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Charlie Rose, Chelsea Handler, David Letterman, Jack Paar, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Joan Rivers, Johnny Carson, Stephen Colbert, Tavis Smiley, Late Night, Women and TV
Posted Tuesday 12/19/17 at 2:48PM EST
Tavis Smiley on Fox News defends dating subordinates in the workplace: “Where else are you going to meet people in this business?”
“Let’s face it, nobody’s working 40 hour weeks anymore,” the PBS host said to Tucker Carlson in responding to PBS’ suspension of his show. “We are working 40, 50, 70, 80 hour weeks.”
Posted Monday 12/18/17 at 5:56PM EST
PBS: “Tavis Smiley needs to get his story straight”
PBS responded to Smiley’s Good Morning America interview, saying: “Mr. Smiley’s own words today coupled with the information discovered during the investigation confirms PBS’ decision to indefinitely suspend the distribution of ‘Tavis Smiley.’” PBS added that Smiley admitted wrongdoing by sleeping with subordinates when employment decisions “may be linked to sex.”
Posted Monday 12/18/17 at 11:28AM EST
Tavis Smiley: “PBS made a huge mistake here, they need to fix this, they need to correct it”
Smiley, whose PBS show was suspended amid a sexual harassment investigation, said on Good Morning America Monday that he did have consensual relationships with women on his staff — but none were inappropriate or coercive. “I have never groped, I have never coerced, I have never exposed myself inappropriately to anyone,” he said.
Posted Thursday 12/14/17 at 5:10PM EST
Walmart pulls sponsorship of Tavis Smiley’s shows in response to his alleged sexual harassment
The retail giant, a sponsor of Smiley’s PBS show and an upcoming touring theatrical show said it is "troubled by the recent allegations"
Posted Thursday 12/14/17 at 9:52AM EST
Tavis Smiley says he’s “shocked” by sexual misconduct allegations, and plans to “fight back”
In a video posted last night on Twitter, the PBS host reacted to his show’s suspension, saying: “It is clear that this has gone too far. And I for one intend to fight back. PBS overreacted and they launched a sloppy investigation. It’s time for a real conversation in this country about where the lines are, about how men and women can engage each other in the workplace. And I look forward to actively participating in that conversation.” Smiley added: “Let me also assure you that I have never groped, inappropriately exposed myself or coerced any colleague in the workplace ever in my 30-year career.”
Posted Wednesday 12/13/17 at 6:49PM EST
PBS suspends Tavis Smiley’s late-night talk show following a sexual misconduct investigation
Variety reports that Tavis Smiley’s namesake talk show has been suspended following an investigation that found that Smiley “had engaged in sexual relationships with multiple subordinates. Some witnesses interviewed expressed concern that their employment status was linked to the status of a sexual relationship with Smiley. In general, they described Smiley as creating a verbally abusive and threatening environment that went beyond what could be expected in a typical high-pressure work environment. Several expressed concerns about retaliation.” PBS said in a statement that its “investigation included interviews with witnesses as well as with Mr. Smiley. 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.” Smiley is the second PBS host with a namesake late-night talk show to be suspended amid sexual harassment allegations, following Charlie Rose three weeks ago.