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CBS News Fires Charlie Rose After Sexual Misconduct Allegations

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CBS News has fired "CBS This Morning" co-host Charlie Rose over allegations of sexual misconduct, CBS News president David Rhodes announced 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. We need to be such a place," Rhodes said in a statement Tuesday.

Rose was suspended from the network the previous day after The Washington Post published claims from eight women, all of whom worked or wanted to work for his PBS program. They describe Rose making unwanted sexual advances in the 1990s through 2011.

Shortly after CBS News' announcement, PBS said it had canceled Rose's show.

"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," PBS said in a statement.

Washington Post reporter Amy Brittain spent weeks reaching out to Rose's former employees and job seekers.

"I think that you can't understate, you know, the level of influence and power that a man like Charlie Rose has," Brittain said.

Several women "described Rose putting his hand on their legs, sometimes their upper thigh." One said he "groped her breasts" as she drove him in a car. Two women said he "walked naked in front of them" after taking a shower.

"Some critics might say, well why were they in position, you know, to see him naked? But the thing about Charlie Rose is that he would commonly require his employees to come over to his private homes," Brittain said.

CBS News

He allegedly invited one woman to his home on Long Island while considering her for a job. She described "crying the entire time" as "he reached down her pants."

Rose tweeted a statement Monday evening saying, "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." Rose explained, "I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken."

During a long career in journalism, Rose earned multiple Emmys and a Peabody Award. But it's his signature interview program that made him a household name. In 2014, he was one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World.  

"He has such power over the show. He owns the show. There is no human resources department in the Charlie Rose show. Many of these women said that even if they wanted to file an official complaint, they wouldn't even know who to go to," Brittain said.

One of the accusers, former assistant Kyle Godfrey-Ryan, said in a Facebook post that the work environment at the "Charlie Rose" show "supported a spectrum of misconduct from unhealthy boundaries to outright physical abuse." She's one of two women who told the Washington Post they reported Rose's behavior to the show's executive producer, Yvette Vega. She claimed Vega would "shrug and just say, 'That's just Charlie being Charlie.'" 

In a statement to the Post, Vega wrote, "I should have stood up for them... I failed. It is crushing. I deeply regret not helping them."

Read CBS News president David Rhodes' statement in full below:

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.

"CBS This Morning" co-hosts Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell addressed sexual misconduct allegations against co-host Charlie Rose on Tuesday's broadcast.

"CBS This Morning" co-hosts Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell addressed sexual misconduct allegations against co-host Charlie Rose on Tuesday's broadcast.

CBS News: Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell address Charlie Rose sexual misconduct allegations

Below are O'Donnell and King's responses. 

Norah O'Donnell 

"This is a moment that demands a frank and honest assessment about where we stand and more generally the safety of women. Let me be very clear: there is no excuse for this alleged behavior. It is systematic and pervasive and I've been doing a lot of listening and I'm going to continue to do that. This I know is true: women cannot achieve equality in the workplace or in society until there is a reckoning and a taking of responsibility. I am really proud to work at CBS News. There are so many incredible people here, especially on this show – all of you here. This will be investigated. This has to end. This behavior is wrong. Period," O'Donnell said. 

Gayle King 

"I really am still reeling. I got an hour and 42 minutes of sleep last night. Both my son and my daughter called me, Oprah called me and said, 'Are you OK?' I am not OK. After reading that article in the Post, it was deeply disturbing, troubling and painful for me to read. That said, I think we have to make this matter to women – the women that have spoken up, the women who have not spoken up because they're afraid. I'm hoping that now they will take the step to speak out, too. This becomes a moment of truth. You know, I've enjoyed a friendship and a partnership with Charlie for the past five years. I've held him in such high regard and I'm really struggling because how do you – what do you say when someone that you deeply care about has done something that is so horrible? How do you wrap your brain around that? I'm really grappling with that. That said, Charlie does not get a pass here. He doesn't get a pass from anyone in this room. We are all deeply affected. We are all rocked by this. And I want to echo what Norah said, I really applaud the women that speak up despite the friendship. He doesn't get a pass because I can't stop thinking about the anguish of these women. What happened to their dignity, what happened to their bodies, what happened maybe to even their careers. I can't stop thinking about that and the pain they are going through. I also find that you can hold two ideas in your head at the same time, you can grapple with things. And I'm, to be very honest with you, I'm still trying to process all of this. I'm still trying to sort it out because this is not the man I know, but I'm also clearly on the side of the women who have been very hurt and very damaged by this," King said. 

King and O'Donnell both said they hadn't spoken to Rose since the allegations were made. King went on to say that she does intend to speak to him on Tuesday.

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