The president of CBS News said veteran anchor Charlie Rose had been fired from the CBS Corp unit after allegations that he had harassed former female employees at his production company surfaced Monday, a maneuver that raises questions about the near-term future of the network’s A.M. news show, “CBS This Morning.”
“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,” said CBS News President David Rhodes in a memo to staffers issued Tuesday.
“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,” Rhodes said. “We need to be such a place.”
In a detailed article, The Washington Post reported the accounts of eight women who said Rose had harassed them. Some of the women worked as junior-level producers for his PBS program, “Charlie Rose,” or aspired to do so. Some of the accounts are lurid, alleging Rose would travel with some of the women or invite them to work at his house, and then try to lure them to see him while he showered or otherwise approach them in a sexual manner. The accusations make Rose the latest in a series of prominent figures in media, entertainment and politics to be accused of trying to use his role to strike up sexual relationships with women in subordinate positions.
Reaction to the accounts has been swift. CBS, PBS and Bloomberg, which also ran the PBS program and let Rose use studio space, all suspended him. “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,” Rose said in a statement. ” I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken.”