By J. Freedom du Lac
CBS said Tuesday that it has fired Charlie Rose “effective immediately,” following an extensive Washington Post report that detailed alleged unwanted sexual advances toward women by the 75-year-old broadcaster.
His firing was announced by CBS News President David Rhodes, who wrote in a midday memo to the network’s staff that the action “followed the revelation yesterday of extremely disturbing and intolerable behavior said to have revolved around [Rose’s] 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.”
Rose — best known for his award-winning interview program on PBS — had co-hosted “CBS This Morning” since the show’s launch in 2012 and was a contributing correspondent for the network’s Sunday night show, “60 Minutes.”
Eight women, who were either employees or aspired to work for Rose at the “Charlie Rose” show, told The Post that he made unwanted sexual advances toward them between the late 1990s and 2011. Those advances included lewd phone calls, walking around naked in their presence, or groping their breasts, buttocks or genital areas, the women said.
Following The Post’s report, PBS and Bloomberg said they would halt distribution of Rose’s namesake interview program, which is produced by Charlie Rose Inc., an independent television production company.
In a statement provided to The Post, Rose said he deeply apologizes “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,” Rose said.
Rose has long been one of the most well-regarded names in TV news. His 2013 interview with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad won him both an Emmy and a Peabody Award and in 2015 he received the Walter Cronkite Excellence in Journalism Award.