PBS hit back at Tavis Smiley following his interview on “Good Morning America” Monday where he defended himself against allegations of sexual misconduct.
“Tavis Smiley needs to get his story straight,” a statement from the network read, according to the Hollywood Reporter. PBS announced last week that it had indefinitely suspended distribution of the 53-year-old talk show host’s program following an investigation into “multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS.” (RELATED: PBS Host Tavis Smiley Suspended Over Sexual Misconduct)
“PBS has been consistent: PBS stands by the integrity of its investigation, which has been conducted by an outside firm with expertise in such matters,” the PBS statement added. “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.'”
During the ABC morning show, Smiley accused the organization of acting too quickly and conducting a “sloppy” investigation while failing to reach out to any of his “current staff” or allowing him the chance to prove that the relationships were “consensual.”
“I have never groped, I have never coerced, I have never exposed myself inappropriately to anyone,” Smiley shared.
He also claimed that his own company’s employee handbook never even stated that relationships with other employees was forbidden.
“Because I don’t know where your heart is going to lead you,” Smiley shared, as he explained that many people have met their spouses at work.
The talk show host then said he plans to fight to “protect” his reputation.
“PBS made a huge mistake here,” Smiley explained. “They need to fix this. They need to correct it. I’m going to do anything to protect my reputation.”