CBS And PBS Fire Charlie Rose After 8 Women Accuse Him Of Sexual Harassment
"It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior," the broadcaster said in a statement. "I am greatly embarrassed."
Both CBS and PBS have fired veteran television host Charlie Rose after a Washington Post report detailed allegations by eight women that he sexually harassed them while they were working on his self-titled show on PBS.
In an internal memo to staff provided to BuzzFeed News on Tuesday, CBS News President David Rhodes said the network had terminated Rose's employment following the revelations of "extremely disturbing and intolerable behavior."
"Despite, Charlie's important journalistic contribution to our news division, there is absolutely nothing more important, in this or any other organization, than ensuring a safe, professional workplace — a supportive environment where people feel they can do their best work," Rhodes said in the memo.
Later on Tuesday, PBS said it had terminated its relationship with Rose and canceled distribution of his programs. "PBS expects all the producers we work with to provide a workplace where people feel safe and are treated with dignity and respect," the network said in a statement.
Hours later, CBS Evening News reported that three more women had come forward to say they were sexually harassed by Rose. The woman who spoke on Tuesday said they had received "unwanted sexual contact" while working at CBS, according to CBS Evening News.
The Washington Post's report on Monday had included woman who worked for Rose at the Charlie Rose show or had been pursuing jobs there, and the article had specifically said that "none of the women who made accusations against Rose to the Post worked for PBS or CBS."
On Tuesday morning, Rose's colleagues on CBS This Morning addressed the allegations, with his former co-host Gayle King saying she was "reeling."
"I got 1 hour and 42 minutes of sleep last night, both my son and my daughter called me," King said. "Oprah called me and said, 'Are you OK? I am not OK.' After reading that article in the Post, it was deeply disturbing, troubling and painful for me to read.”
Anchor Norah O'Donnell agreed, saying, "This is a moment that demands a frank and honest assessment about where we stand and more generally the safety of women."
"Let me be very clear," she said. "There is no excuse for this alleged behavior. It is systematic and pervasive and I've been doing a lot of listening."
Rose is just the latest man in power, particularly in the media, to face allegations of sexual misconduct after the New York Times and the New Yorker published reports detailing allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Rose, 75, apologized for the behavior reported in the Post investigation, which included allegations of groping, unwanted sexual advances, and in some cases, appearing nude in the same room as a colleague.
"It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior. I am greatly embarrassed," he said in a statement. "I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken."
CBS This Morning is a perennial third behind NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America, which run neck and neck for No. 1. But CBS This Morning — with this trio of hosts since 2012 — has pulled much closer to its rivals than any previous incarnation of a CBS morning show. Rose's absence will surely hurt that momentum.
He has also been a 60 Minutes correspondent since 2008, recently interviewing Steve Bannon for the news magazine. His self-titled show, which he has helmed since 1993, was also suspended by PBS and Bloomberg for an unspecified period.
Both CBS and PBS immediately suspended Rose after the Post report.
Bloomberg TV, which also broadcasts the show, added to the chorus. "We are deeply disturbed to learn of these allegations and are immediately suspending the show from airing on Bloomberg TV," the company said in a statement obtained by the New York Times.
The Washington Post reported that the accusations date back to the 1990s and happened as recently as 2011, the women ranging in age from 21 to 37 at the time. Three of the eight women in the story went on record with the Post, which laid out a pattern of Rose using his stature to allegedly pursue his targets.
"He was a sexual predator, and I was his victim," Reah Bravo, an intern for Rose's show starting in 2007, told the Post.
Kyle Godfrey-Ryan, an assistant to Rose in the mid-2000s, told the Post he walked in front of her naked more than a dozen times. She was 21 at the time.
Ryan said Rose also called her at odd hours, late at night or early in the morning, to repeat a fantasy he had about her swimming nude in a pool as he watched.
After the Post article was published, a ninth woman, reporter Lizzie O'Leary, tweeted that an article she wrote on Nov. 3 in New York Magazine's The Cut about her own experiences with sexual harassment and unwanted advances included a line about Rose, although he was not identified at the time.
"The legendary TV anchor who looks you up and down like you’re a meal, when you are there to talk about congressional budgets?" O'Leary wrote.
O'Leary wrote that this and other individual instances described might not have "quite constituted harassment," but that the sum total of her experiences were now making her question trying to ignore them.
Kate Aurthur contributed to this report.