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Charlie Rose Fired From CBS Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

Theo Wargo, Getty Images
Theo Wargo, Getty Images

Charlie Rose joined the growing list of men whose alleged histories of sexual harassment and assault have been exposed in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. The 75-year-old host of Charlie Rose and former 60 Minutes correspondent was the subject of a recent exposé in The Washington Post, in which eight women bravely came forward to accuse Rose of sexual harassment and assault. According to a statement from CBS News president David Rhodes, Rose has been officially fired from the network.

Update: PBS has canceled Charlie Rose according to an official 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.”

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Yesterday, Bloomberg and PBS announced that they would cease to distribute Rose’s show for the public broadcasting network. Today, as revealed in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, CBS News has also formally severed ties with the broadcast journalist. Rose was a prolific reporter for 60 Minutes and, up until this week, was the co-anchor of CBS This Morning.

The Washington Post spoke with eight women who worked for Rose between the late ’90s and 2011. Those women courageously detailed numerous allegations of sexual harassment and abuse at the hands of the famed journalist, including “unwanted sexual advances…including lewd phone calls, walking around naked…groping [women’s] breasts, buttocks or genital areas.” Rose responded to the allegations in an official statement to the Post:

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. 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 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.

Despite apologizing for his “inappropriate behavior,” Rose denied any “wrongdoings” when confronted by a TMZ reporter outside his apartment on Monday.

Here is David Rhodes’ full statement to CBS News employees regarding Rose’s firing:

Colleagues,

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 about from 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.

Yesterday afternoon, C. Mason Wells, the Director of Repertory Programming at the Quad Cinema in New York City, tweeted a screenshot from Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums, which appears to have alluded to the Rose allegations several years ago. In the film still, Margot Tenenbaum (Gwyneth Paltrow) is being groped by a TV journalist named Peter Bradley (Larry Pine). The Bradley character is clearly meant to be a stand-in for Rose; his fictional series is shot in the distinct style of Rose’s PBS series, and the physical similarities between the two are striking.

The Royal Tenenbaums was released in 2001, which fits with the timeline of the allegations against Rose.

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