On Tuesday, Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell, co-hosts of "CBS This Morning," denounced their colleague Charlie Rose after allegations that he sexually harassed women.
On Monday, The Washington Post published a blistering report alleging that the veteran reporter harassed women in the office with lewd comments, unwanted advances and appearing before others while dressed inappropriately. Rose has since been suspended from his duties by CBS; PBS and Bloomberg, who both distribute his "Charlie Rose" program, have also suspended business with him.
Both King and O'Donnell denied having knowledge of the harassment.
“None of us ever thought we’d be sitting at this table in particular telling this story, but here we are,” said King. “This is not the man I know, but I’m clearly on the side of the women who have been very hurt and very damaged by this."
O'Donnell made no excuses for Rose either and said a "reckoning" must take place for such men.
“Let me be clear: There is no excuse for this alleged behavior," she said. “This I know is true: Women cannot achieve equality in the workplace or society until there is reckoning. This will be investigated. This has to end. This behavior is wrong, period.”
As noted by Variety, the potential departure of Rose puts the "CBS This Morning" program at serious risk, considering that Americans largely tune in to ABC’s “Good Morning America” and NBC’s “Today." The program's ratings recently saw an uptick, largely thanks to Rose; those may quickly wane.
Rose has been integral to the effort. While “CBS This Morning” has its fair share of celebrity interviews, the show places more of a focus on harder news. There are more stories about business and foreign affairs than on its two rivals, and the program eschews cooking segments and other morning-time frivolities. Rose, 75 years old, adds gravitas to the program, thanks to his many years of nabbing longform interviews with heads of state and business on “Charlie Rose,” the program he has done for PBS nationally since 1994.
Rose has since offered up an apology for his "inappropriate behavior" and accepts responsibility.
“It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior. I am greatly embarrassed," he said. "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.”