In news that has us literally scratching our heads, former PBS host Tavis Smiley is set to moderate a series of town halls addressing sexual harassment in the workplace.
You know, the same Tavis that was suspended last December from PBS after an investigation was launched against him for accusations of sexual misconduct in the workplace.
According to the Los Angeles Times, “on Monday night, the veteran journalist kicked off a five-city tour titled “The Conversation: Women, Men and the Workplace,” in which he and a panel of experts and scholars address the #MeToo movement, and what he termed the confusing and conflicting dynamics in the workplace between male and female employees.”
“Let me say up front, this conversation is not about me, this is about ‘we,'” Smiley said to an audience of around 200 people. “There needs to be a national conversation about these issues.”
(But isn’t that already happening?)
To him, one of the main issues is that employers are being too PC about how men and women interact at work.
He added, “There are companies that are trying to figure out how to navigate the space. There are companies that are forbidding you to hug.”
(But sir…why do you need to hug someone at your job? Go hug someone at home.)
So why now and why him? Let him tell it, he’s been discussing these issues way before the #MeToo Movement was a thing and way before the investigation against him was launched.
“First of all, I’ve been discussing this issue for years,” he said. “It’s not new for me. Second, there’s no doubt that this situation has made my situation even more acute for me.”
He added, “I haven’t run from this, I’m not hiding. I’ve answered every single question that’s been asked of me. But my principal responsibility is to get back to work.”
For the rest of tour, he plans on hitting libraries, churches and universities in New Orleans, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Indianapolis, the LA Times added.
As we previously reported, the 53-year-old admitted to having sexual relationships with subordinate employees, saying, “Let’s face it, nobody is working 40-hour weeks anymore, we are working 40-, 50-, 70-, 80-hour weeks. Where else are you going to meet people in this business?”
(How about LinkedIn, through your colleagues and friends, or someone who isn’t in the business? Just a suggestion.)
However, Tavis is clear: In his 30-year career he had never “groped, coerced or exposed myself inappropriately.”
As for his job at PBS, he is still suspended by the network with no news on when he will be reinstated, if that ever happens.
BEAUTIES: What do you think about Tavis taking on the #MeToo Movement?