Opposition mounts to sexual harassment witch-hunt
16 December 2017
As the campaign over allegations of sexual misconduct has unfolded, it has become clear that what is involved is of far greater magnitude than the form in which it initially emerged—allegations against one Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein. With the initial shock beginning to wane, opposition is emerging from some of those targeted.
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) personality Tavis Smiley, who was summarily suspended Wednesday based on anonymous and unspecified allegations, issued a blistering statement denouncing PBS for launching a “so-called investigation” without even contacting him. After Smiley caught wind of the inquiry through worried calls from friends who had been questioned, he threatened a lawsuit to demand that he be given an opportunity to answer the accusations.
“If having a consensual relationship with a colleague years ago is the stuff that leads to this kind of public humiliation and personal destruction, heaven help us,” Smiley wrote. “PBS investigators refused to review any of my personal documentation, refused to provide me the names of any accusers, refused to speak to my current staff, and refused to provide me any semblance of due process to defend myself against allegations from unknown sources.”
“This has gone too far,” he concluded. “And I, for one, intend to fight back.”
Ignoring Smiley’s democratic rights, Mills Entertainment announced yesterday that it was canceling its backing for his upcoming 40-city theatrical dramatization of the last year of the life of Martin Luther King Jr.—who was himself the target of an FBI-orchestrated campaign over “unnatural” and “abnormal” sexual behavior.
Smiley’s statement came only a few days after…