With Charlie Rose absent from the anchor desk following a report of sexual misconduct in the workplace, “CBS This Morning” co-hosts Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell spoke frankly about the allegations against their co-worker.
“We’re going to begin with news affecting all of us at this broadcast and this network,” Norah O'Donnell said. “CBS News has suspended our co-host Charlie Rose over allegations of sexual misconduct.”
After briefly discussing the allegations against Rose and the response from the network, King and O'Donnell spoke candidly about their reactions to the story. O'Donnell spoke on the importance of keeping women safe in the workplace:
"I also want to say this, that this is a moment that demands a frank and honest assessment about where we stand and more generally the safety of women. 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.
This I know is true: Women cannot achieve equality in the workplace or in society until there is a reckoning and a taking of responsibility. 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. Period."
King followed by echoing O'Donnell's sentiments and describing her own reaction:
"I have to say, Norah, 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?' I am not OK. After reading that article in the Post, it was deeply disturbing, troubling and painful for me to read. That said, I think we have to make this matter to women.
The women that have spoken up, the women who have not spoken up because they’re afraid. I'm hoping that now, they will take the step to speak up, too. That this becomes a moment of truth. You know, I’ve enjoyed a friendship and a partnership with Charlie for the past five years."
While both O'Donnell and King worked alongside Rose for years, neither minced words when discussing their reactions to the news. King continued by making it clear that she does not give Rose a pass for his behavior, despite their previously positive working experience together:
"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 deeply affected. We are all rocked by this. And I want to echo what Norah said.
I really applaud the women that speak up despite the friendship. He doesn’t get a pass because 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. I can’t stop thinking about that and the pain that they’re going through."
You can watch the full segment from “CBS This Morning” below.