The American talk show PBS announced on Wednesday it is suspending show host Tavis Smiley and distribution of late-night talk show “Tavis Smiley” following “troubling allegations” of misconduct against the longtime public television and radio host.
In a statement, a representative for PBS said: “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.”
— Tavis Smiley (@tavissmiley) December 14, 2017
“PBS overreacted and conducted a biased and sloppy investigation, which led to a rush to judgment, and trampling on a reputation that I have spent an entire lifetime trying to establish,” he said in the statement.
“Tavis Smiley” has been distributed by PBS to member stations since 2004 and is produced by Smiley’s own communications company The Smiley Group/TS Media, Inc. The show is filmed in Los Angeles. It has also garnered several NAACP Image Awards, including “Outstanding Talk” (Series). His weekly radio show, “The Tavis Smiley Show,” is distributed to public radio stations by Public Radio International.
Smiley was named one of the “100 Influential People in The World” by TIME in 2009. In 2014, Smiley was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
He founded the Tavis Smiley Foundation in 1999, an organization that seeks to give youth and underserved communities opportunities through training and mentorship. He is a graduate of Indiana University and a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.