Tavis Smiley says he did nothing wrong and has never acted inappropriately with any of his female colleagues.
After learning of his suspension by PBS following an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct, Smiley posted a video on his Facebook page to defend himself.
“I have never groped, inappropriately exposed myself, or coerced any colleague in the workplace ever in my 30-year career,” Smiley said in the video.
Smiley says he was never informed about the investigation into his behavior and only learned about from people who were contacted by PBS’ investigators. He says he only got a chance to speak with the investigators himself after he threatened a lawsuit.
In a statement to Variety, PBS announced Smiley’s suspension, saying, “Effective today, PBS has indefinitely suspended distribution of ‘Tavis Smiley,’ produced by TS Media, an independent production company … PBS engaged an outside law firm to conduct an investigation immediately after learning of troubling allegations regarding Mr. 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.”