Update(1:34 pm, 11/21): CBS News fired Charlie Rose in a statement released by President David Rhodes. The announcement comes after CBS initially suspended him on Sunday.
Charlie Rose became the latest in a long line of famous men accused of sexual harassment, and his co-hosts on “CBS This Morning” had the difficult task of announcing their fellow anchor’s allegedly abominable behavior.
The Washington Post reported that Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King were visibly shaken up while detailing the accusations against their co-host. In a frank and candid statement, O’Donnell opened up the segment with a call to end sexually predatory behavior against women in the workplace. “Women cannot achieve equality in the workplace or in society until there is a reckoning and a taking of responsibility," she stated, "This has to end. This behavior is wrong. Period.”
Rose has been accused by 8 women of sexually abusive acts ranging from walking around naked in their presence to grabbing their buttocks and genital areas without consent, according to the original Post report.
King echoed her co-host’s dismay in hearing the news. “I am not okay,” she said. King then offered audiences a personal look into her feelings toward Rose’s alleged actions:
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 doesn’t get a pass here... I really applaud the women that speak up despite the friendship... 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.
The two news anchors opened up about their feelings on Rose’s alleged behavior at the very table that they reported the news with him for the past five years.
As these terrible revelations about powerful men like Rose and Harvey Weinstein continue to play out before the eyes of a watching world, some may find it difficult to believe that those close to the accused had no clues or red-flags about their alleged behaviors.
MRC’s NewsBusters detailed a similar sentiment, as they reported on a 2016 “CBS This Morning” news segment where Rose offered to spank his co-host’s butt in jest after watching a video of a lemur performing a similar gesture.
In light of Rose’s accusations, as well as his apparently close relationship with his colleagues, O’Donnell’s call for a “reckoning” and a “taking of responsibility” appears to be directed at the very circles of influence in which these cases of sexual misconduct take place.