The pubcaster said that an inquiry into Tavis Smiley, who has fronted the LA-produced show for nearly 14 years, “uncovered multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS.”
“Effective today, PBS has indefinitely suspended distribution of Tavis Smiley, produced by TS Media, an independent production company,” a PBS spokesperson said in a statement. “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.”
There were no details provided about the alleged misconduct, but our sister site Variety cites sources as saying a lawyer at the firm hired to conduct the investigation took reports from 10 witnesses, a mix of men and women of different races and employment levels in Smiley’s organization. Most of them are former staffers.
In October 2015, Warner Bros TV signed an exclusive multi-year development and production pod deal with Smiley — who’s also a broadcaster, author and producer — to develop scripted TV series for broadcast and cable.
The suspension comes three weeks after PBS canceled Charlie Rose amid numerous sexual misconduct allegations against that show’s host.
Our sister site Variety first reported the Smiley news.