Consensual bashing: Tavis Smiley at war with PBS over sex claims

ABC Tavis Smiley defended himself against sexual harassment accusations during a live interview on

"They need to correct it", Smiley said Monday in an interview with "Good Morning America".

PBS suspended Smiley last week issuing a statement, "Effective today, PBS has indefinitely suspended distribution of 'Tavis Smiley, ' produced by TS Media, an independent production company".

Smiley was also critical of the fact that news of his suspension from PBS broke on December 13 in Variety just minutes after the conclusion of that meeting.

"Tavis Smiley needs to get his story straight", a PBS spokesperson said in a statement.

He has acknowledged he's had romantic relations with employees over 30 years in the business, but insisted they were consensual and that he's guilty, at worst, of bad judgement.

"I certainly understand people who have a viewpoint that any consensual relationship in the workplace is wrong".

"In our employee handbook, while we do not encourage office relationships, we do not forbid them either", Smiley said on "GMA". "I don't know who you're going to hang out with, or date, or fall in love with", Smiley said on "Good Morning America".

Smiley admitted to ABC's Paula Faris that he's had consensual relationships with co-workers in the past.

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Tucker Carlson asked whether he was indeed being accused of a "nonspecific sex crime" from someone he didn't know. This contradicts his Facebook post from last week, where he cited only one previous relationship with an employee.

"I never gave any favoritism", stated the host, before adding that one employee with whom he has had a sexual relationship with is still on his staff.

He said he found out about the complaint through friends who were his former colleagues.

Some of these women may have felt pressured to go along with Smiley's personal interest in them to maintain their employment. "I celebrate and applaud the women that came out and told the truth and lead us to create healthy workspaces". He also described how the investigators "rejected" his investigation to meet with him and his lawyers for weeks until they threatened a lawsuit.

Tavis Smiley defended himself against sexual harassment accusations during a live interview on "Good Morning America" on Monday, Dec. 18, 2017.

He also said, "After finding out about it, my attorneys contacted the PBS investigators and offered to have them come talk to me, whatever they wanted".

"PBS stands by its decision to respect the anonymity of those who are afraid to come forward publicly". The public broadcaster said an investigation had "uncovered multiple, credible allegations" against Smiley.

Smiley also warned that if this matter does end up in court, PBS will spend "millions of taxpayer dollars" to defend itself - which he suggested is not how "taxpayers want their money spent".

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