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Tavis Smiley Suspended for Sexual Misconduct-Has Anyone Not Sexually Harassed Women

Tavis Smiley Suspended for Sexual Misconduct-Has Anyone Not Sexually Harassed Women

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by G. Brown

After writing Wednesday’s story on  Nine More Women Accuse Russell Simmons of Rape, barely hit ‘save’ before the latest accused popped up.

PBS has suspended talk show host Tavis Smiley while they investigate accusations of his misconduct.  Huff Post says “Investigators said that after interviewing 10 current and former employees of Smiley, they found credible allegations that the host had engaged in sexual relationships with multiple subordinates, according to Variety.”  The article goes on to say, “Some witnesses said they were concerned that employment status was linked to whether they had sex with Smiley.The host was also accused of creating a verbally abusive and threatening environment that went above and beyond the typical high-pressure workplace.

Smiley joined PBS back in 2004 as the host of the self-titled late night talk show after being let go from his previous network BET where he hosted “BET Talk”.  The investigation in to misconduct by Smiley follows the termination of another male host, Charlie Rose who was let go following allegations of groping and sexually harassing several women.

Smiley denied the allegations and responded “To be clear, I have never groped, coerced, or exposed myself inappropriately to any workplace colleague in my entire broadcast career, covering 6 networks over 30 years.”  But Huff Post quotes a former producer who criticized “… Smiley considered himself bulletproof with PBS.“I’m the only black on PBS,” Hyzagi quoted Smiley as saying. “They can’t touch me. They also know that I’m the only black talk show host in America, and they like to have this privilege.

When has being Black ever made anyone bulletproof from anything? Certainly not in this current climate where the momentum to rid work places of inappropriate behavior has yet to reach a fever pitch…so, no one is safe.  The purging of inappropriate and criminal sexual behavior is cleansing every industry to the point where we are witnessing weekly, almost daily exposures.  One TV show actor/host actually outed himself before anyone could acknowledging that he knows his behavior in the past has been unacceptable.

The women  who truly suffered and feared for their careers need to be heard.  Are some of these women lying or falsely accusing men…it’s possible.  Most of the men accused have denied the allegations, but no one has sued for defamation of character or lost wages. It’s horrible for those involved from many angles.  It’s a heaviness that’s crushes careers, privacy, families, lives and futures.  When will we reach the end? When actual steps are taken to protect women and male victims from predators who mistakenly assume position means power to force people to do one’s sexual bidding. Until then, we can all stay tuned for the next person outed as a sexual assaulter, molester or rapist.