Upstate NY production company cancels Tavis Smiley's tour over harassment claims
19 December, 2017, 07:41 | Author: Courtney Perry
He told ABC's "Good Morning America" Monday he never coerced anyone into a relationship but has had consensual relationships in the workplace which he said was not against PBS' policies.
Smiley claimed that PBS had more or less already chose to push him out, and that "the minute that three-hour meeting was over", PBS announced that they would stop distributing his show.
"The PBS investigators refused to review any of my personal documentation, refused to provide me the names of any accusers, refused to speak to my current staff and refused to provide me any semblance of due process to defend myself against allegations from unknown sources", Smiley added. Smiley said he contacted PBS after hearing through the grapevine about the investigation.
"In our employee handbook, while we do not encourage office relationships, we don't forbid them, either. I don't know who you're going to hang out with, or date, or fall in love with", Smiley said on "Good Morning America".
"There's a team of people that run the company", Smiley said. There are some people who believe that there is no such thing as a consensual relationship in the workplace. This contradicts his Facebook post from last week, where he cited only one previous relationship with an employee.
Smiley acknowledged that he has engaged in several relationships with his employees after "30 years of being in the business", but he maintained he is not guilty of sexual harassment.
Smiley is the latest prominent figure in the news media, politics and the entertainment industry to face misconduct allegations.
He said he found out about the complaint through friends who were his former colleagues.
Smiley has denied any wrongdoing and insisted that his record was clean. "I celebrate and applaud the women that came out and told the truth and lead us to create healthy workspaces". The host alleges PBS investigators only met with him after he threatened a lawsuit. He claims that made it impossible for him to present evidence the relationships in question were consensual.
"They were prepared to close this investigation without talking to me", Smiley told "Good Morning America".
"And I don't think taxpayers want their money spent that way", Smiley said pointedly to Fox News Channel viewers.
"PBS stands by its decision to respect the anonymity of those who are afraid to come forward publicly".
In response to Smiley's explanation that his company did not prohibit relationships between employees because "I don't know where your heart's going to lead you", PBS's rep said the network was "certain that it should not lead to multiple sexual relationships between the owner of a company and subordinates over many years particularly where employment decisions may be linked to sex."...
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