According to an exclusive report from Variety, Tavis Smiley has been accused of sexual misconduct. He is currently suspended from his half-hour interview program that airs weeknights on PBS.
The network released a statement, “Effective today, PBS has indefinitely suspended distribution of Tavis Smiley, produced by TS Media, an independent production company. 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.”
Allegedly, Tavis had sexual relations with “multiple subordinates” and “some witnesses interviewed expressed concern that their employment status was linked to the status of a sexual relationship with Smiley.” Tavis is also accused of creating a threatening and verbally abusive work environment.
Back in February, Jacques Hyzagi, a former producer on Smiley’s television show, claimed in the Observer that Smiley’s “misogyny is always creeping around, barely camouflaged by Midwestern good manners.” She said Smiley once picked up a woman at the Orlando airport and said she was a “f**k buddy.” She also alleged that Smiley had a romantic relationship with another producer and would often denigrate PBS executives.
Tavis Smiley has not responded to the allegations.