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Charlie Rose’s long and distinguished career as a broadcast journalist is in tatters after several women who worked for him on his long-running current affairs programme alleged that he sexually harassed them.
CBS News immediately suspended the 75 year old from CBS This Morning, the morning programme he co-presents, and 60 Minutes, where he is a regular contributor. Bloomberg Television and PBS said they would stop distributing Charlie Rose, the nightly show he has presented since 1991.
The abrupt moves followed the publication of a Washington Post report in which eight women alleged he had made unwanted sexual advances, including groping, lewd phone calls and walking around naked in their presence.
Reah Bravo, an intern and then an associate producer for Mr Rose’s PBS show, said she had been the recipient of unwanted sexual advances from Mr Rose. She said it had taken a “fierce moment of cultural reckoning” to “understand these moments for what they were”.
That reckoning is the ongoing fall out from the Harvey Weinstein scandal, which has emboldened women from Hollywood and Silicon Valley to Washington DC and Westminster to speak out about aberrant male behaviour.
In a statement, Mr Rose acknowledged his behaviour. “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,” he said. “It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologise for my inappropriate behaviour. 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 realise I was mistaken.”
Mr Rose was a fixture on US television for more than three decades — a serious and calming presence in a television landscape increasingly dominated by hysterical voices concerned with neither objectivity nor balance. As comfortable interviewing chief executives as intellectuals, authors and policymakers, he attracted a loyal audience turned off by cable news.
But his suspension makes him the latest name on a growing list of powerful men alleged to have behaved badly towards women.
Since the first revelations about Mr Weinstein last month more than 90 women have come forward to complain of abuse and harassment by the Hollywood mogul.
Harassment allegations have also been made about Kevin Spacey, the Oscar-winning actor, Brett Ratner, the Hollywood producer, and UK politicians such as Michael Fallon, who recently resigned as defence minister. Mr Ratner has denied the allegations.
Glenn Thrush, a New York Times political journalist, was suspended on Monday by the newspaper pending an investigation into a Vox report that he behaved inappropriately with younger female colleagues when he worked at Politico. “I apologise to any woman who felt uncomfortable in my presence, and for any situation where I behaved inappropriately,” he said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Jeffrey Tambor, the Emmy-winning star of Amazon’s acclaimed Transparent, has quit the show after two women alleged that he harassed them on set: the actor denies the allegations, saying they were “simply and utterly untrue”.