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The host of the late-night show Tavis Smileyshared a video on his official page in which he addressed the suspension and allegations.
Smiley started the video by saying he was as “shocked as you were” to learn of PBS’s “sudden” decision to indefinitely suspend his show.
“Let me say at the outset that I have the utmost respect for all women, and I certainly celebrate the courage of those women who have come forth of late to share their own truth,” he said. “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.”
It wasn’t until he threatened a lawsuit against the public broadcaster, he claimed, that investigators agreed to talk to him for three hours.
“And even then, their mind must have been made up because almost immediately after that session ended this story broke in Variety,” he said, referring to the media outlet that broke the story about his suspension.
“PBS investigators refused to look at any of my documentation, refused to talk to any of my current staffers, refused to give me the names of any of my accusers and refused to give me any semblance of due process,” he added. “It is clear that this has gone too far, and I for one intend to fight back.”
“And I look forward to actively participating in that conversation,” he concluded.
“If having a consensual relationship with a colleague years ago is the stuff that leads to this kind of public humiliation and personal destruction, heaven help us,” he wrote at one point.
He also wrote he “learned more about these allegations reading the Variety story than the PBS investigator shared with me, the accused, in our 3 hour face to face meeting.”
“My attorneys were sent a formal letter invoking a contractual provision to not distribute my programming, and that was it,” he said.
PBS released a statement to Variety upon announcing Smiley’s suspension Wednesday. “Effective today, PBS has indefinitely suspended distribution of Tavis Smiley, produced by TS Media, an independent production company,” the public broadcaster said. “PBS engaged an outside law firm to conduct an investigation immediately after learning of troubling allegations regarding Mr. Smiley. This 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.”