Broadcaster Charlie Rose will stay in the NC Media and Journalism Hall of Fame – but with his biography amended to include the sexual-harassment scandal that ended his career.
Last month, a Washington Post report recounted allegations from eight women about the television journalist’s misdeeds, including groping, lewd phone calls and appearing nude in their presence. More women have since come forward.
After initially disputing some of the details of the allegations, Rose issued an apology for “my inappropriate behavior.” He was fired from “CBS This Morning,” as well as the “Charlie Rose” show on PBS.
This took place as part of a wave of sexual-harassment allegations against high-profile figures in entertainment, sports, politics and journalism – including movie executive Harvey Weinstein, Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore and Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson.
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Earlier this month, Duke University rescinded Rose’s Futrell Award, given to outstanding Duke graduates working in journalism. Rose, who graduated from Duke in 1964 and Duke School of Law in 1968, had received the award in 2000.
The University of Kansas, Fordham University and Arizona State University have also revoked awards and honorary degrees given to Rose over the years. That created a predicament for UNC-Chapel Hill, which oversees the NC Journalism Hall of Fame – “an unprecedented incident” for the institution, according to Kyle York.
“The revelations involving Charlie Rose are disturbing, and we take them very seriously,” said York, assistant to the dean for communications at the UNC School of Media and Journalism, a month ago. “Because of the seriousness of the matter, we need to be thoughtful and deliberative about the actions we take with regard to Charlie Rose and the Hall of Fame.”
No one has ever been kicked out of NC Media and Journalism Hall of Fame. Rose, a native of Henderson, was inducted in 1999. Over the course of his career, Rose has been renowned for his in-depth interviews, winning multiple Emmy Awards.
How to acknowledge Rose’s achievements as well as his transgressions represented a dilemma for the Hall of Fame. According to a statement from Susan King, dean of UNC’s School of Media and Journalism, the Hall of Fame committee ultimately decided to make “a learning opportunity” out of the situation.
“Professionals in all fields may succeed in their public lives while failing personally,” King wrote in a statement. “My job as dean is to prepare students to understand that and to refuse to tolerate those who would abuse their power. Success is not a license to harass, intimidate or manipulate.”
King’s statement went on to say that to banish him “with Kremlin-like efficiency” would revise history “without making a point.”
“It would be easy to simply remove Rose from the Hall of Fame with indignation,” she concluded. “It wouldn’t be enough.”
His biography in the hall will now “include the professional consequences of the widely reported behavior,” according to a statement from the hall.
“We’re at a moment where we really have to make a point,” King said in an interview. “We hope to use this moment as an opportunity to tell both men and women that respect must exist in the workplace. Anything less cannot be tolerated.
“What makes it hard is, his work has been great and you do want to support good journalism,” King added. “But you can’t tolerate this kind of abuse in the workplace. I’ve been working in this business a long time, and failed individuals do exist.”