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Tavis Smiley Sues PBS for Discrimination
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Tavis Smiley

Summary: After being fired a few months ago for sexual misconduct, Tavis Smiley alleges that the PBS was “biased” against him.

PBS fired Tavis Smiley after an investigation confirmed that the TV host had a history of sexual misconduct. Smiley is fighting back, filing a lawsuit against PBS alleging the investigation was “biased,” according to Us Weekly.


The lawsuit was filed in Washington D.C.’s superior court. Smiley, 53, claims, “PBS was prepared to make its decision to suspend distribution of the show without interviewing Mr. Smiley and providing him with an opportunity to respond to specific allegations.” The investigation was conducted “in violation of norms and procedures for conducting workplace investigations.”

The lawsuit further alleges that “PBS has acted in a racially hostile manner” towards Smiley for countless years, pointing out that he is “the only person of color to have served as the solo host of a daily national show in the history of PBS.”

PBS shot back, stating in a statement to Us, “Today’s meritless lawsuit is yet another example of Tavis Smiley’s attempts to distract the public from his pattern of sexual misconduct in the workplace. As PBS has consistently stated, following receipt of a complaint alleging inappropriate conduct by Mr. Smiley, PBS hired an independent law firm to conduct an investigation. The ongoing investigation, which included a lengthy interview with Mr. Smiley, revealed that he had multiple sexual encounters with subordinates over many years and yielded credible allegations of additional misconduct inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS. That is what led PBS to the decision to indefinitely suspend distribution of Mr. Smiley’s program. The notion that PBS’ decision to suspend distribution of the program was made for any reason aside from Mr. Smiley’s own behavior is ridiculous and false.”

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Smiley’s late-night talk show in December was suspended by PBS when they received “multiple, credible allegations” of sexual harassment by Smiley. He denies any wrongdoing, stating in a December Facebook post, “I have never groped, coerced or exposed myself inappropriately to any workplace colleague in my entire broadcast career, covering 6 networks over 30 years. … 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.”

Do you think it is possible that men don’t realize some of their actions are not appropriate? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about famous people accused of sexual misconduct, read these articles:

Source: Us Weekly

Photo: flickr.com


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