REUTERS

Tavis Smiley: If You Can't Date At Work, Where Can You Date

As PBS investigates Tavis Smiley amid allegations of sexual misconduct with former employees, Smiley wonders: if you can’t date your coworkers, who can you date


Smiley raised his very important question on Monday night on Fox’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

“Do you think the rule ought to be that you’re not allowed to date your subordinates Should that be allowed” host Tucker Carlson asked Smiley.

“I certainly understand that there are persons who believe there is no such thing as a consensual relationship in the workplace, I hear that,” Smiley began.

“But there are other opinions on that,” he continued. “In my employee handbook we do not encourage inter-office relationships, but we don’t forbid it either, because I don’t know how things are gonna turn out in your life. When you start hanging out with our company, I don’t know who you’re gonna meet.”

“And let’s face it, nobody is working 40 hour weeks anymore, we’re working 40-, 50-, 70-, 80-hour weeks. Where else are you going to meet people in this business”

Smiley appeared earlier on Monday on “Good Morning America” and made similar arguments. He also admitted to dating several women he worked with over the years, including one who still works with him.

PBS responded within hours.

“Tavis Smiley needs to get his story straight,” the network said in a statement.

“First, today on ‘Good Morning America,’ Mr. Smiley acknowledged he has had multiple sexual encounters with his employees… This contradicts his Facebook post from last week, where he cited only one previous relationship with an employee.”

Meanwhile, Smiley also criticized PBS for not sharing with him who his accusers were.

“Witnesses who have bravely come forward to speak with the independent investigators retained by PBS report a fear of retribution for speaking out,” a spokesperson for the network said. “PBS stands by its decision to respect the anonymity of those who are afraid to come forward publicly. Additional allegations are continuing to come to light since last week’s announcement.”

More accusers have come forward since PBS announced its investigation, the network added.

PBS announced earlier in the month that an investigation “uncovered multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS.” The network therefore suspended syndication of Smiley’s show. Smiley owns his own media company, and PBS had been airing the “Tavis Smiley” show since 2004.

In his defense on Monday Smiley pointed to the “millions of Americans who met their spouse at work.”

“The problem is we’re starting to criminalize legitimate relationships between consenting adults, and that’s a real problem for me,” Smiley said.

Studies point to a much more pressing problem than Smiley not being able to get a date. According to research from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), “anywhere from 25% to 85% of women report having experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.”

One factor the report noted is that if examples and/or a definition of sexual harassment was provided, more women were likely to say they had experienced sexual harassment in the workplace:

“Based on this consistent result, researchers have concluded that many individuals do not label certain forms of unwelcome sexually based behaviors — even if they view them as problematic or offensive — as ‘sexual harassment.'”

Similarly, statistics from Cosmopolitan found that 1 in 3 women ages 18 to 34 have been sexually harassed at work, and some of them didn’t even know it. Sixteen percent of women surveyed said “no” when asked if they had ever been sexually harassed at work but then said “yes” when asked if they had experienced sexually explicit or sexist remarks.

Not labeling their experiences as “sexual harassment” has no bearing on the damaging side effects, the EEOC also noted. “As one group of researchers pointed out, data from three organizations ‘demonstrate that whether or not a woman considers her experience to constitute sexual harassment, she experiences similar negative psychological, work, and health consequences.'”

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

Latest News

Justice for Breonna not served; The essential rule of politics; Teen serves two months in jail for not doing homework; and More

Justice for Breonna not served as grand jury indicted officer who shot her with wanton endangerment — but not murder. “Outrageous and offensive.” Those were  by attorney to the family, Ben Crump to describe the grand jury’s decision in the March 13 fatal police shooting of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor. While…

IBM, EEOC, age

EEOC Unearths Years of Intentional Age Discrimination within IBM

After a long investigation, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has revealed that IBM leaders had directed managers to replace older workers with younger ones. Between 2013 and 2018, nearly 86% of those considered for layoffs within the organization were older employees over the age of 40. The investigation showed…

Breathe March in Globe Park, New York, USA - 12 Sep 2020

Cities under attack from the Justice Department; Louisville bracing for the Breonna Taylor murder charge; Twitter reveals its racist side; and More

Justice department attacks three U.S. cities, declaring them anarchist zones — despite most of the protests that took place in each city being peaceful marches in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. In a move designed to pull federal funding from New York City, Seattle and Portland, OR, the…

ginsburg, supreme, court

The Lasting Legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — Plus the Four Biggest Issues Currently at Stake Following Her Death

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who served on the nation’s highest court for 27 years, passed away Friday, Sept. 18 at the age 87. “As the second woman ever to sit on the highest court in the land, she was a warrior for gender equality — someone who believed…

Abbott Receives CE Mark for Next-Generation Mitraclip Heart Valve Repair Device to Treat Mitral

Originally posted on Abbott.com – CE Mark for MitraClip G4 offers physicians an innovative next-generation system with more options for mitral valve repair using proven clip-based technology – MitraClip is a first-of-its-kind transcatheter mitral valve therapy, now on its fourth generation, improving further on MitraClip’s history as a safe and…

Cox Crews Mobilized to Reconnect Gulf Coast

Originally published on Cox.com Cox has mobilized its employees with support from outside of the Gulf Coast area to begin assessing damage and restoring service outages caused by Hurricane Sally. In times like this, we understand it is important to stay connected and we want our services to help you…

BASF Invests Into Pyrum as Part of its ChemCyclingTM Project

Originally published on BASF.com  Pyrolysis oil from waste tires as additional raw material source next to oil from mixed plastic waste Investment will support construction of additional production capacities for pyrolysis oil Milestone in establishing a circular economy for post-consumer plastic waste Pyrolysis oil will partly replace fossil feedstock and…