Eight women, five of whom wished to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, told The Washington Post they were sexually harassed by Charlie Rose while they were his employees or aspiring to be. The Post’s report, published yesterday, details Rose’s behavior: The PBS stalwart and suspended CBS This Morning cohost allegedly made unwanted sexual advances, groped some of the women, and walked naked in front of some of them on business trips.
Since the report was released, PBS has halted production on Charlie Rose, and CBS has suspended Rose from his morning show gig. Rose has already issued a statement in which he apologized for his “inappropriate behavior,” which he incorrectly perceived as just “pursuing shared feelings.” He writes that in the midst of this (hopefully ongoing) reckoning, men are reevaluating their past behavior and have arrived at a “profound new respect for women and their lives.” He does not address his moods, which the women say switched from “fury to flattery,” and which ultimately left only three of them feeling comfortable enough to give their names to the Post.
Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell responded to the allegations against their former cohost on today’s This Morning, lending full-throated support to the women who have come forward. O’Donnell kicked things off, telling viewers, “There is no excuse for this alleged behavior.” She addressed the pervasiveness of sexual harassment, saying, “This I know is true: Women cannot achieve equality in the workplace or society until there is reckoning.” O’Donnell added, “This will be investigated. This has to end. This behavior is wrong, period.”
King admitted to struggling with the information, having worked with Rose for five years. But that hasn’t made her question any of the women who have spoken up. “You can hold two ideas in your head at the same time,” King said, referring to sorting out her feelings about her colleague’s behavior while showing support for the alleged victims. But she’s much more concerned with what happened to the women’s “dignity, what happened to their bodies, what happened to maybe even their careers.”