Tavis Smiley: PBS Had No Intention of Speaking with Me Until Threatened to Do So By My Lawyers

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NEW YORK (AP) — Tavis Smiley says PBS made a big mistake by suspending him from his talk show.

He tells ABC’s “Good Morning America” Monday he’s never coerced anyone into a relationship but has had consensual relationships in the workplace. He says that wasn’t against his company’s policies.

He says he’s human and has made mistakes but they don’t merit suspension.

He says he applauds women coming forward to share their sexual assault and harassment experiences “to lead us in a conversation about how to create healthy workspaces.”

However he says it’s important not lose a sense of “proportionality” in the conversation, “because if we do people end up being guilty simply by accusation.”

PBS suspended Smiley after an investigation uncovered “multiple, credible allegations of conduct” inconsistent with PBS standards.

Smiley says he’ll fight to protect his reputation.

Viewers responded differently to the former PBS host’s interview.

Some applauded him telling his side of the story.


And a few took his side.

Still, others pushed back against Smiley.

Kiersten Willis contributed to this report.

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