Tavis Smiley pushes back on sexual misconduct allegations

Longtime PBS host Tavis Smiley on Monday denied the allegations of sexual misconduct that led to his suspension from the network.

"PBS made a huge mistake here. They need to fix this. They need to correct it. I’m going to do anything to protect my reputation,” Smiley said on ABC's “Good Morning America.”

PBS said in a statement last week that it was suspending Smiley after hiring an outside law firm to look into allegations against him. 


“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,” the network said. 

Variety reported that staffers claimed Smiley created a hostile work environment.

Smiley on Monday acknowledged he’d had consensual sexual relationships with employees, but he denied sending lewd text messages, groping anyone or giving favoritism to employees he had a relationship with.

He called the work environment at his show "intense."

“I celebrate and applaud these women who have had the courage to come out and tell their truth and lead us in a conversation of how to create healthy workspaces,” he said.

“At the same time I want to make sure we don’t lose all sense of nuance and proportionality in this conversation because if we do, then people end up being guilty simply by accusation,” he continued.

Smiley's suspension comes as accusations of sexual harassment have been leveled in recent weeks against high-profile members of the media, political and entertainment worlds, including Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenWhy Caitlyn Jenner should not be dismissed #MeWho? The hypocritical silence of Kamala Harris The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate Dems face unity test; Tanden nomination falls MORE (D-Minn.), Rep. John ConyersJohn James ConyersDemocrats debate timing and wisdom of reparations vote House panel approves bill to set up commission on reparations Chicago suburb could serve as road map for reparations MORE Jr. (D-Mich.), NBC "Today" host Matt LauerMatthew (Matt) Todd LauerPress: Cuomo belongs to wrong party Joe Biden tops Google people searches in 2020 Comcast shareholders reject proposals for outside sexual harassment investigation at NBC MORE, Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and political commentator Mark Halperin.