Walmart, book distributor suspend ties with TV host Tavis Smiley

Tavis Smiley

According to Variety, he was accused of having sexual relationships with multiple subordinates and some had "expressed concern that their employment status was linked to the status of a sexual relationship with Smiley".

Sources told the publication that witnesses stated that Smiley created a "verbally abusive and threatening environment".

According to a report by Variety, PBS hired Sarah Taylor Wirtz, an attorney from the firm MSK, to "oversee an investigation into Smiley's behavior after receiving allegations of misconduct".

"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. This investigation included interviews with multiple witnesses as well as with Mr. Smiley. "To be clear, I have never groped, coerced or exposed myself inappropriately to any workplace colleague in my entire broadcast career, covering six networks over 30 years".

He criticized PBS for its handling of the situation, saying he only learned about the investigation from former staffers and didn't get a proper chance to defend himself.

Smiley has denied the allegations. "This has gone too far". PBS engaged an outside law firm to conduct an investigation immediately after learning of troubling allegations against Mr. Smiley.




In a statement, Smiley said PBS "rushed to judgement" and he intends to fight back.

On the eve of the 15th season and 3,000th episode of my nightly talk show, I was as shocked as anyone else by PBS' announcement today.

He also says there's a bigger picture conversation to be had about how men and women should be able to interact in the workplace.

"Effective today, PBS has indefinitely suspended distribution of 'Tavis Smiley, ' produced by TS Media, an independent production company", the public broadcaster said.

Smiley's future projects are now up in the air, including a book "Before You Judge Me: The Triumph and Tragedy of Michael Jackson's Last Days" and a tour revolving around the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., "Death of a King".

A representative for Smiley could not be reached by Fox News for comment.

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