Tavis Smiley is the latest big name to be accused of sexual misconduct, and now PBS has yanked his longtime late night talk show. We’ve got five things to know about the TV host.
Yet another big name in broadcasting has been accused of sexual conduct, as Tavis Smiley, 53, and his eponymous nightly PBS talk show have been suspended by the network. In a bombshell announcement that broke on our sister site Variety on Dec. 13, it read “Effective today, PBS has indefinitely suspended distribution of Tavis Smiley, produced by TS Media, an independent production company,” the public broadcaster said. “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.” We’ve got five things to know about the broadcaster, host and author:
1. Tavis has been in broadcasting since the 1990’s.
He began his career in 1991 on LA radio station KGFJ with a show about issues that affected the black community in the city. He later joined the nationally syndicated The Tom Joyner Morning Show in 1996 as a commentator. That same year he began hosting and executive producing the public affairs show BET Tonight for the Black Entertainment Television cable network which propelled him to fame. He has hosted his self-titled talk show on PBS since 2004, earning him four NAACP Image Awards.
2. Tavis is an author.
He has written numerous non-fiction books including titles such as Doing What’s Right: How to Fight for What You Believe and Make a Difference (2000), Keeping the Faith: Stories of Love, Courage, Healing and Hope from Black America (2002), What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America (2006) and Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure (2011).
3. Tavis moderated several presidential candidate debates before the 2008 election.
As a respected broadcaster, he served as the live moderator a Democratic forum on June 28, 2007 at Howard University in Washington, D.C. featuring then-candidates Barack Obama, 55, and Hillary Clinton, 70, He also moderated a Republican candidate forum on September 27 at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. See pics of Tavis, here.
4. Tavis as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
He received the honor in 2014 for his contributions to broadcasting.
5. Tavis competed on Dancing with the Stars in season 19.
The broadcaster tried his hand in the ballroom on ABC’s hit dance competition in 2014. He was partnered with pro Sharna Burgess, 32, but he needed to stick to his day job as they were knocked out in just the second week of competition.
HollywoodLifers, are you shocked that Tavis is the latest subject of sexual misconduct allegations?