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Gayle King opened up about the #MeToo movement, which has evolved from a topic she covered on CBS This Morning to a conversation she has had to face head on as a number of her colleagues at CBS have been accused of sexual misconduct and harassment.
The first of King’s co-workers to be accused was Charlie Rose, who co-hosted CBS This Morning alongside King and Norah O’Donnell. The Washington Post published an article in November 2017 that included eight women accusing Rose of sexual harassment. Rose was fired shortly thereafter.
CBS CEO Leslie Moonves and 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager have also been accused of misconduct, which has been covered on the network’s morning show.
King told The New York Times in a story published online on Wednesday that “you can hold two ideas in your head at the same time.” The sentiment means that she believes the accusers while also believing that the accused men shouldn’t be banished for life.
When King was asked if it’s possible for the men of the #MeToo movement to be redeemed, she said, “Murderers are walking around. People who kill people are walking around. They might not be able to get [their] jobs back, but surely there must be room for some redemption somewhere. I don’t know what the answer is to that, and it might be too soon. Maybe people don’t want to hear that.”
King added that it is difficult to talk about the #MeToo movement and brought up Matt Damon’s comments that the movement exists on a spectrum. “They took his head off, and I actually agree with what he was saying,” she said. “That doesn’t mean I’m discounting what the women are saying. I’m just saying we can’t paint everybody with the same brush.”
When it comes to Rose’s next career move, King isn’t sure what it will look like. “I don’t know what his second act is, but Charlie is a very smart guy. Do I see him coming back to CBS? No,” she said.
While King doesn’t anticipate on working with Rose again, she revealed that they keep in touch. “I know there are two sides to every story, that’s what I know,” King said before sharing that she recently called Rose to check in after he had a health scare.
Oprah Winfrey, King’s best friend, reiterated her dedication to the friendship. “She lives strong,” said Winfrey. “Her friendships are strong and so, you know, when this happened, she said, ‘I feel terrible, but I don’t think you abandon people when they make a mistake.’ You certainly don’t abandon them when they’re down and everybody else is turning away from them.”
The Times reached out to Rose for comment, to which he responded, “Hallelujah.” Rose wrote via email, “The Sunday Times is profiling Gayle, there is a God in Heaven.” Before agreeing to an interview, Rose voiced his concerns that any comments he would make about King would sound so “over the top in unadulterated admiration” that the quotes would not be usable.
Rose did meet with the Times to talk about his former co-host. “She loves being Gayle King and all that goes with it,” he said about her. “This isn’t a sacrifice or a drudge. Her personality, her presence, her skill, her joy of life. She knows she is one of the lucky people on this planet, as am I, who gets to do exactly what she is cut out to do.”
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