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After more than two months of cascading harassment stories, CBS This Morning anchors Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King reported on one of their own Tuesday morning after the Washington Post revealed what appears to be systemic harassment at the hands of their co-anchor Charlie Rose.
“Let me be very clear. There is no excuse for this alleged behavior. It is systematic and pervasive and I’ve been doing a lot of listening and I’m going to continue to do that,” said O’Donnell. “This I know is true. Women cannot achieve equality in the work place or in society until there is a reckoning and a taking of responsibility.”
She added: “I’m really proud to work at CBS News. There are so many incredible people here especially on this show. All of you here. This will be investigated. This has to end. This behavior is wrong.”
King echoed O’Donnell’s point, but was visibly disturbed. “I really am still reeling. I got an hour and 42 minutes of sleep last night, both my son and my daughter called me. Oprah called me and said, ‘Are you OK?'” said King. “I am not OK. After reading that article in the Post, it was deeply disturbing, troubling and painful for me to read. The women that have spoken up, the women who have not spoken up because they’re afraid, I’m hoping now they will take the step to speak up, too.”
Added King: “This becomes a moment of truth. I’ve enjoyed a friendship and a partnership with Charlie for the past five years. I’ve held him in such high regard, and I’m really struggling because — how do you — 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. He doesn’t get a pass from anyone in this room. We are all affected by this. We are all rocked by this.”
King revealed that neither she nor O’Donnell has spoken to Rose since the Post story was published Monday evening. The allegations were the top story on CBS This Morning, with anchor Bianna Golodryga anchoring a taped piece and then throwing to King and O’Donnell who sat next to each other at the anchor desk. The CBS Evening News also reported on the allegations during Monday evening’s broadcast. “As tough as this story is, it’s important that we cover it the same way we covered the other ones,” said Golodryga.
CBS News immediately suspended Rose on Monday night while PBS and Bloomberg, which both aired his eponymous talk show, pulled the program. But it’s unclear how Rose, 75, ever returns to the air. All of the allegations in the Post article were from women who worked on the talk show, which is solely owned by Rose and has no formal human resources structure. Multiple victims told the Post that they reported Rose’s conduct to the show’s executive producer Yvette Vega, but she shrugged off the behavior as “Charlie being Charlie.”
Earlier, in its report on the Rose allegations, CBS News’ Golodryga said that the Washington Post told them, “more than a dozen other women have reached out wanting to speak or share their stories.”
Additionally, Golodryga said CBS News has been able to reach one of the accusers, who didn’t want to go on camera but confirmed the reporting is accurate. More women have also spoken out, following the Post‘s story, to Business Insider and the New York Times.
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