Sources close to the production told that PBS hired attorney Sarah Taylor Wirtz of the firm MSK to oversee an investigation into Smiley’s behavior after receiving allegations of misconduct by Smiley, who hosts and produces the talk show. According to sources, MSK took reports from 10 witnesses, a mix of men and women of different races and employment levels in Smiley’s organization, most of them former staffers.
Matt Lauer was fired from 'Today' after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct that allegedly included giving a co-worker a sex toy and dropping his pants in front of a female employee in his office.
“How am I gonna carry all this food and my bags now?
The investigation, Smiley alleged on social media, was “biased and sloppy, which led to a rush to judgment, and trampling on a reputation that I have spent an entire lifetime trying to establish.” “I have the utmost respect for women and celebrate the courage of those who have come forth to tell their truth. Never.” He added, “It’s time for a real conversation in America, so men and women know how to engage in the workplace.
To be clear, I have never groped, coerced, or exposed myself inappropriately to any workplace colleague in my entire broadcast career, covering 6 networks over 30 years,” Smiley wrote. I look forward to actively participating in that conversation.” The story of his suspension first broke on Variety, and, according to Smiley, Variety knew about it before he did.
PBS investigators “reluctantly” agreed to a meeting that lasted three hours, he said.
Soon after the meeting ended on Wednesday, Variety published the story.
“I learned of the investigation when former staffers started contacting me to share the uncomfortable experience of receiving a phone call from a stranger asking whether, I had ever done anything to make them uncomfortable, and if they could provide other names of persons to call,” he wrote.