The hosts of “CBS This Morning” said they are disturbed by sexual harassment allegations against suspended co-host Charlie Rose, but committed to reporting on them.
Co-host Norah O’Donnell said there was “no excuse” for Rose’s alleged behavior, and praised his accusers for their courage in coming forward.
“This is a moment that demands a frank and honest assessment about where we stand and more generally the safety of women,” O’Donnell said on the show Tuesday.
“Let me be very clear,” O’Donnell continued. “There is no excuse for this alleged behavior. ... Women cannot achieve equality in the work place or in society until there is a reckoning and a taking of responsibility.”
Co-host Gayle King said she was “reeling” over the “troubling” and “painful” allegations against Rose, who has hosted the show since 2012.
“I’ve enjoyed a friendship and a partnership with Charlie for the past five years,” King said. “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.”
King continued: “I really applaud the women that speak up. 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.”
CBS News fired Rose on Tuesday after announcing Monday that he had been suspended in light of The Washington Post’s bombshell report describing sexual harassment accusations by eight women. PBS and Bloomberg, which broadcast Rose’s self-titled interview show, said Monday that they would suspend distribution of his show.
Rose is accused of making sexual advances toward multiple women — some of whom worked on his show. He is also accused of groping women and walking in front of them while naked.
The veteran journalist “deeply” apologized for his behavior in a statement Monday, but he pushed back against some of the accusations.
“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 the statement. “I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken.”
Later, Rose denied committing “wrongdoings” when asked by a photographer if he would like to say anything to his accusers, according to TMZ.
This article has been updated to include King’s comment and details about the allegations against Rose, as well as to reflect that CBS has fired him.