Witnesses Claim Tavis Smiley Allegedly Verbally Abused Subordinates, Tied Employment Status To Sex


Noted and popular TV host Tavis Smiley is out of a job tonight, thanks to PBS canceling his his eponymous show amid allegations that he sexually harassed a number of individuals who worked for his program.

According to Variety, 10 witnesses were interviewed and several claimed that sex with Smiley was expected in order to maintain their employment status.

Allegedly, aside from demanding sex, Smiley is also accused of cussing out and threatening his subordinates as well.

The witnesses who came forward reportedly told the network that they feared retaliation from Smiley if they spoke out.

PBS does not produce Smiley’s program, but airs it on its network. The public broadcaster quickly distanced itself from Smiley in a statement that said in part that an investigation into the allegations along with interviews with Smiley and the witnesses led to a quick decision to cut ties with 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.”–PBS 

Smiley, 53, is well-known for being an outspoken critic of former President Barack Obama. Smiley once said Black Americans had “lost ground” under the nation’s first African-American President.