Tavis Smiley is being taken off the PBS airwaves.
After sexual misconduct allegations were levied against television personality Tavis Smiley, suitable action has been taken by the network brass at PBS, effectively suspending the late night show that bears his namesake indefinitely.
According to a report from Variety, the decision comes after an investigation, led by attorney Sarah Taylor Wirtz, was conducted surrounding Smiley's behavior and the claims that arose from multiple women he worked with.
In a statement, PBS made the following public:
“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.”
Though the program has won several awards from the NAACP, Smiley couldn't escape the accusations that dogged him in recent weeks. The aforementioned investigation found that Smiley not only had sexual relationships with various subordinates, but that said employees feared rebuking him in any way, as they thought their jobs and potential promotions were dependent on continuing any sexual relationships with Smiley.
Smiley has hosted Tavis Smiley since 2004. The half-hour talk show focused on discussions with newsmakers, politicians and artists from diverse backgrounds. Only time will tell if Smiley is eventually allowed to continue hosting the program down the road.