Tavis Smiley has maintained that he has never in his three decades in the business; groped, exposed himself, or coerced a colleague in the workplace, and he adds that neither has he been accused of such. However, Smiley is being accused of having had sexual relationships with women who’ve worked under him, and that much he not only admits to but defends.
“There are some people who believe that there is no such thing as a consensual relationship in the workplace. I hear that point of view and I respect it. But there are also other points of view on this,” Smiley said during his sit-down with Paula Faris.
Tavis Smiley pushes back against allegations of sexual misconduct: “I have never groped, I have never coerced, I have never exposed myself inappropriately…I celebrate and applaud these women who’ve had the courage to come out and tell their truth.” pic.twitter.com/VNuxgQczrS
— Good Morning America (@GMA) December 18, 2017
He then went on to point out that while PBS had been distributing the Tavis Smiley Show, it was an independent production with an employee handbook that didn’t forbid workplace relationships.
“There are millions of Americans watching this program right now who met their spouses at work,” he said.
Faris would go on to challenge that an employer-subordinate relationship carries different implications than one of two employees might. He agreed but claimed that he has never taken advantage of his romances professionally. PBS didn’t buy it.
Tanya Hart has the Hollywood Live story with even more details on accusations against Tavis Smiley.
Plus, we say goodbye to record label executive and podcast hos Reggie Osse, also known as Combat Jack.