Tavis Smiley is slowly but surely getting back on his feet after recent sexual assault allegations cost him his job at PBS. The veteran journalist and his series, The Tavis Smiley Show, were dropped from the public broadcasting network late last year, but he has since landed a new gig.
The 53-year-old journalist and political commentator announced a deal with a new series about inspirational stories. His series, The Upside with Tavis Smiley, will be streamed online and shown on The Word Network, according to TheJasmineBrand. The religious-oriented cable and satellite channel is directed at black viewers.
The news comes shortly after the talk show host was accused of having inappropriate relationships with subordinates. While he admitted to fraternizing with co-workers, he insisted that it was always consensual and still denies any wrong doing.
“I want to make sure we don’t lose all sense of nuance and proportionality in this conversation because if we do, people end up being guilty simply by accusation,” he shared on Good Morning America. “I’m not an angry black man and this notion of a hostile environment just doesn’t fit.”
Still, many believe that sleeping with a subordinate, consensually or not, is an abuse of power. Smiley understands that perspective, but insists he never wielded his power to unfairly promote or punish anyone he dated.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.