Tavis Smiley lashed out at PBS for suspending him for accusations of sexual misconduct in the workplace. Late Wednesday night, the broadcaster and noted author took to social media to defend himself against the scurrilous accusations.
Smiley said PBS "overreacted" and launched a "sloppy investigation" into the allegations. He said he was "just as shocked" as everyone else about PBS's decision to suspend him.
“I have the utmost respect for all women and I certainly celebrate the courage of those who have come forward of late to share their own truth,” Smiley said in a video uploaded to social media. “But let me assure you, I have never groped, inappropriately exposed myself or coerced any colleague in the workplace ever in my 30-year career.”
According to Variety.com, Smiley was accused of having sexual relationships with subordinates and some of the women had “expressed concern that their employment status was linked to the status of a sexual relationship with Smiley.”
Smiley blasted PBS for launching its "so-called investigation" without telling him about it. He said their minds were "already made up" before they met with him for 3 hours to discuss the allegations and that the Variety.com report was published "almost immediately" after their meeting ended.
He also accused PBS of “refusing” to look at his documents or talk to his current staff.
“It is clear that this has gone too far and I for one intend to fight back,” Smiley said. “PBS overreacted and launched a sloppy investigation. It’s time for a real conversation in this country about where the lines are, about men and women can engage each other in the workplace. And I look forward to actively participating in that conversation.”
— Tavis Smiley (@tavissmiley) December 14, 2017