Charlie Rose’s co-hosts on “CBS This Morning” sharply condemned their suspended colleague Tuesday after the airing of sexual misconduct allegations that included groping female staffers and walking around naked in front of them, saying that it’s a time of reckoning in society.
“This has to end,” said Norah O’Donnell.
The morning show — normally hosted by Rose, O’Donnell and Gayle King — was down to the two women and the accusations against their colleague was their lead story. CBS suspended Rose following Monday’s Washington Post story about him and PBS also halted distribution of his nightly interview show.
King said she considered Rose a friend and held him in high regard, but was struggling because “what do you say when someone that you deeply care about has done something so horrible?
“How do you wrap your brain around that?” she said. “I’m really grappling with that. That said, Charlie does not get a pass here. He doesn’t get a pass from anyone in this room.”
She said that while the story described a Rose she did not know, “I’m also clearly on the side of the women who have been very hurt and damaged by this.”
A stern O’Donnell didn’t address her relationship with Rose.
“This is a moment that demands a frank and honest assessment about where we stand and more generally the safety of women,” she said. “Let me be very clear. There is no excuse for this alleged behavior.”
She said women cannot achieve equality in the workplace and society unless there is a reckoning and taking of responsibility.
Several women have accused Rose of touching them on the breasts, buttocks or thigh, emerging naked from a shower when they were working at his residence and, in one case, calling a 21-year-old staffer to tell his fantasies of seeing her swim in the nude. A former associate producer for Rose’s PBS show, Reah Bravo, told the Washington Post: “He was a sexual predator, and I was his victim.”
Rose, 75, apologized for his behavior in a statement issued Monday and said he was embarrassed by it. He joins a rapidly growing list of public figures felled by misconduct allegations since the floodgates were opened by The New York Times’ investigation of harassment and assault by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
The “CBS This Morning” eye-opener segment, a 90-second collection of film clips about the day, also led with the Rose story and quoted two pundits speculating the charges may end his career. “He’s toast,” said one off-screen voice.
Rose has co-hosted the morning show since 2012, and it has gained in the ratings against its better known ABC and NBC rivals with a newsier approach. Rose’s PBS program, where he interviews newsmakers in the media, politics and entertainment, has been airing since 1991.
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