LOS ANGELES — The president of CBS News said veteran anchor Charlie Rose had been fired from the CBS Corp. unit after allegations that he had harassed former female employees at his production company surfaced Monday in a news report.
“A short time ago we terminated Charlie Rose’s employment with CBS News, effective immediately. This followed the revelation yesterday of extremely disturbing and intolerable behavior said to have revolved around his PBS program,” said CBS News President David Rhodes in a memo to staffers issued Tuesday.
“Despite Charlie’s important journalistic contribution to our news division, there is absolutely nothing more important, in this or any organization, than ensuring a safe, professional workplace — a supportive environment where people feel they can do their best work,” Rhodes said. “We need to be such a place.”
PBS cancels ‘Charlie Rose’ program
PBS said it would cease to air the long-running and award-winning interview program “Charlie Rose” in the wake of claims of sexual harassment levied at the program’s venerable host.
“In light of yesterday’s revelations, PBS has terminated its relationship with Charlie Rose and cancelled distribution of his programs,” the public broadcaster said in a statement. “PBS expects all the producers we work with to provide a workplace where people feel safe and are treated with dignity and respect.” The show is produced by Rose’s own company and syndicated by PBS. It also airs on Bloomberg’s TV network, which has long provided the program studio space.
”Charlie Rose” has been considered one of the best in TV journalism and has, since 1991, featured Rose one-on-one with a newsmaker from politics, culture, business or other fields of interest. The show launched on New York PBS station WNET and then went national in 1994.
In a detailed article, The Washington Post on Monday reported the accounts of eight women who said Rose had harassed them. Some of the women worked as junior-level producers for his PBS program or aspired to do so. Some of the accounts are lurid, alleging Rose would travel with some of the women or invite them to work at his house, and then try to lure them to see him while he showered or otherwise approach them in a sexual manner. The accusations make Rose the latest in a series of prominent figures in media, entertainment and politics to be accused of trying to use his role to strike up sexual relationships with women in subordinate positions.
Reaction to the accounts has been swift. PBS and Bloomberg, which also ran the PBS program and let Rose use studio space, all suspended him.
“I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate,” Rose said in a statement. ” I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken.”
In place of the show, PBS intends to air repeats of programs such as “Antiques Roadshow,” “NOVA,” “This Old House,” and “Finding Your Roots.” The network has not determined replacement programming beyond that, said a PBS spokeswoman.