In response to a recent Washington Post report detailing decades of sexual misconduct and harassment, both CBS and PBS announced on Tuesday that veteran journalist Charlie Rose has been fired by both media organizations. According to the allegations, at least eight women have accused Rose of making unwanted sexual advances, appearing nude in their presence, or groping them.
“A short time ago we terminated Charlie Rose’s employment with CBS News, effective immediately,” CBS News President David Rhodes wrote in a note to his staff on Tuesday. “This followed the revelation yesterday of extremely disturbing and intolerable behavior said to have revolved around his PBS program.
“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. We need to be such a place.”
Rhodes concluded, “I’m deeply disappointed and angry that people were victimized – and that even people not connected with these events could see their hard work undermined. If all of us commit to the best behavior and the best work – that is what we can be known for.”
“In light of yesterday’s revelations, PBS has terminated its relationship with Charlie Rose and canceled distribution of his programs,” a PBS spokesperson 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.”
Both CBS and PBS immediately suspended Rose on Monday in the wake of the Washington Post article before deciding to terminate the 75-year-old reporter. On Tuesday morning, Rose’s co-hosts, Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King, appeared on “CBS This Morning” to address the sexual harassment allegations against him.
“There is no excuse for this alleged behavior,” O’Donnell asserted. “It is systematic and pervasive, and I’ve been doing a lot of listening, and I’m going to continue to do that. This I know is true: Women cannot achieve equality in the workplace or in society until there is a reckoning and a taking of responsibility.”
“We are all rocked by this,” King admitted. “And I – I want to echo what Norah said. I really applaud the women that speak up despite the friendship. He doesn’t get a pass because I can’t stop thinking about the anguish of these women, what happened to their dignity, what happened to their bodies, what happened maybe to even their careers.”
In a statement posted to Twitter, Rose wrote, “In my 45 years of journalism, I have prided myself on being an advocate for the careers of the women with whom I have worked. Nevertheless, in the past few days, claims have been made about my behavior toward some former female colleagues.
“It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior. 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 accusations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken.
“I have learned a great deal as a result of these events, and I hope others will too. All of us, including me, are coming to a newer and deeper recognition of the pain caused by conduct in the past, and have come to a profound new respect for women and their lives.”