NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart and a book distributor distanced themselves from Tavis Smiley on Thursday after PBS said an investigation found “troubling allegations” of sexual misconduct by the radio and TV host.
The moves came a day after PBS said it was suspending Smiley following an independent investigation by a law firm. PBS said the firm uncovered “multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS.” His show’s page at PBS was scrubbed on Thursday.
Smiley responded to the allegations on Facebook, saying PBS “overreacted” and calling it “a rush to judgment.” He said he has never harassed anyone and claimed one relationship the network uncovered was consensual.
“If having a consensual relationship with a colleague years ago is the stuff that leads to this kind of public humiliation and personal destruction, heaven help us,” he said. “This has gone too far. And, I, for one, intend to fight back.”