Tavis Smiley’s MLK Book Stage Adaptation Suspended Amid Sexual-Harassment Accusations

Tavis Smiley. Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

The 40-city tour of a stage adaptation of Tavis Smiley’s Martin Luther King Jr. book, Death of a King, has been suspended, according to the New York Times. PBS suspended Smiley’s show following an investigation into sexual-harassment accusations that found “credible evidence” of misconduct, and as a result, the production company Mills Entertainment said they’d end the project. “We believe deeply in the message of this production and the importance of commemorating Dr. King in this crucial moment,” the company said in a statement issued Friday. “However, we take seriously the allegations and will be suspending our relationship with Tavis Smiley and [his company] T. S. Productions.” The tour was set to begin January 15 — King’s birthday — in Brooklyn, and Smiley was going narrate the production.

Smiley has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct. “I have the utmost respect for women and celebrate the courage of those who have come forth to tell their truth,” he wrote in a statement, accompanied by a video. “To be clear, I have never groped, coerced, or exposed myself inappropriately to any workplace colleague in my entire broadcast career, covering 6 networks over 30 years. Never. Ever. Never.”

Smiley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Stage Adaptation Suspended