Tavis Smiley Denies Sexual Misconduct Allegations on GMA: ‘PBS Made a Huge Mistake’


Tavis Smiley responded to the sexual misconduct allegations that have been leveled against him by denying any wrongdoing — and slammed PBS for making “a huge mistake” for investigating him.

Smiley made the comments while appearing on Good Morning America, where he insisted that he will “do anything to protect my reputation.”

The author and media personality continued his critism of PBS’ handling of the allegations by saying the network only spoke with him directly regarding the claims after his attorneys threatened to sue. “They did not intend to talk to me nor did they talk to any of my current staff. They didn’t talk to my COO, they didn’t talk to my HR person,” he said.

Additionally, Smiley said that “no complaints were ever filed” against him.

At one point, Smiley seemed to suggest that some form of cooperation took place between PBS and Variety — the magazine that broke the story on his allegations and suspension from the network. His evidence for such an assertion was the just “12 minutes” it took Variety to get their story published after PBS informed him that they were suspending the distribution of his show.

“I don’t know they do all that in 12 minutes, something is awry here,” he said.

In the beginning of the interview, Smiley reiterated his denial of the allegations, claiming that he had “never” sent inappropriate text messages, exposed himself in the workplace, coerced employees into sexual relationships, or groped anyone in a non-consensual manner.

When Smiley was asked if he would be willing to return to working with PBS on the distribution of his show in the event that the network moves past the allegations, the host did not have a definitive answer.

“PBS made a huge mistake here, they need to fix this — they need to correct it,” he said instead, adding, “I’m gonna’ do anything to protect my reputation.”

Watch above via ABC News.

[image via screengrab]

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Caleb Ecarma was a reporter at Mediaite. Email him here: caleb@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter here: @calebecarma