Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Tavis Smiley Dropped by Tour Producer Amid Sexual Harassment Claims

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Talk show host Tavis Smiley attends The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences Presents The 50th Anniversary Screening Of "To Kill A Mockingbird" at AMPAS Samuel Goldwyn Theater on April 11, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.
Talk show host Tavis Smiley attends The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences Presents The 50th Anniversary Screening Of “To Kill A Mockingbird” at AMPAS Samuel Goldwyn Theater on April 11, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.

*Days after his indefinite suspension from PBS, Tavis Smiley has now lost the touring company behind his theatrical production about Martin Luther King’s final months, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Live producer Mills Entertainment has pulled out of backing what was to be a nationwide 40-city tour of Death of a King: A Live Theatrical Experience, based on Smiley’s 2014 book.

Mills Entertainment said Friday that “in light of the recent allegations” it will be “suspending our relationship with” Smiley. “We take seriously the allegations,” the statement added.

Smiley, who also lost his Walmart sponsorship amid the allegations, was suspended by PBS after an independent investigation uncovered “multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS.”

According to Variety, the investigation found that Smiley had engaged in sexual relationships with multiple subordinates and created “a verbally abusive and threatening environment.”

Smiley has vehemently denied any wrongdoing. In a lengthy Facebook post, he responded to the allegations, saying PBS “overreacted” and calling it “a rush to judgment.” He said he has never harassed anyone and claimed one relationship the network uncovered was consensual. PBS said in reply that it stands by the integrity of the investigation.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Whether or not Tavis is guilty of sexual harassment, this is why Dr. Boyce Watkins said we should NOT depend on any corporations’ support. When they decide to pull the rug out from under your feet – justified or not – there you are trying to figure out where your next paycheck is going to come from. Maybe Tavis should have started his own distribution channel by now. On the flip side, if you’ve been trying to get your projects picked up, PBS has some airtime they need to fill. Tavis and Charlie Rose’s airtime are available. Give PBS a call!

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