Charlie Rose Fired From CBS News Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations
By Alex Ungerman
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Charlie Rose has been fired by CBS, effective immediately, after eight women came forward accusing the news anchor of sexual harassment.
In a memo to the staff, CBS News President David Rhodes wrote:
"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.
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.
I’ve often heard that things used to be different. And no one may be able to correct the past. But what may once have been accepted should not ever have been acceptable.
CBS News has reported on extraordinary revelations at other media companies this year and last. Our credibility in that reporting requires credibility managing basic standards of behavior. That is why we have taken these actions.
Let’s please remember our obligations to each other as colleagues. We will have human resources support today and every day, and we are organizing more personal and direct training which you will hear aboutfrom senior management shortly.
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."
ET has reached out to CBS for further comment.
PBS has also severed ties with Rose, telling ET in a new statement, "In light of yesterday’s revelations, PBS has terminated its relationship with Charlie Rose and cancelled 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."
On Monday, Rose was suspended by the network after eight women came forward in an article published by The Washington Post alleging that the 75-year-old newsman sexually harassed and/or assaulted them when they were working on his PBS interview show, which has also been put on hold. Rose is accused by the women who have come forward of unwanted sexual advances -- including groping, lewd phone calls and nudity -- in a number of incidents from the late 1990s to as recently as 2010.
Five women spoke on condition of anonymity to the Post, while three came forward on the record: Rose's former assistant Kyle Godfrey-Ryan, former Charlie Rose show coordinator Megan Creydt and former intern Reah Bravo.
Bravo alleges that Rose repeatedly made unwanted sexual advances while she worked for him at his Bellport, New York, estate, as well as in cars, in a hotel room and on a private plane. Godfrey-Ryan alleges that Rose would walk in front of her naked while she worked as his assistant in his home. The then-21-year-old goes on to allege that Rose would call her at late hours to relay his fantasies of her swimming naked in his pool. Godfrey-Ryan also claims that Rose fired her after learning she'd confided in a mutual friend about his alleged conduct. As for Creydt, she claims that Rose groped her while she worked on the show, from 2005-2006.
"Charlie Rose is suspended immediately while we look into this matter," CBS told ET in their initial statement Monday. "These allegations are extremely disturbing and we take them very seriously."
"PBS was shocked to learn today of these deeply disturbing allegations," PBS told ET. "We are immediately suspending distribution of Charlie Rose."
On Tuesday, CBS This Morning co-anchors Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell addressed the sexual misconduct allegations against their now-former colleague. King admitted that she was "still trying to process" the news, calling the allegations against Rose "deeply disturbing, troubling and painful" to read.
"I really am still reeling. I got an hour and 42 minutes of sleep last night," she told viewers. "Oprah [Winfrey] called me and said, 'Are you OK?' I am not OK."
"I really applaud the women that speak up despite the friendship," she added. "[Rose] 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 even to their careers."
O'Donnell, 43, responded similarly.
"Let me be very clear: there is no excuse for this alleged behavior," she said. "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."
On Monday, after the Post story broke, Rose offered a statement to the publication, which he later tweeted, where he disputed some of the claims made in the story, while apologizing for his past behavior.
“In my 45 years in journalism, I have prided myself on being an advocate for the careers of the women with whom I have worked,” Rose's statement reads. “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," he adds. "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. 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," Rose concludes.