CBS’s Norah O’Donnell on Charlie Rose: ‘There is no excuse for this alleged behavior’

“CBS This Morning” co-hosts Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King opened the show Tuesday by addressing allegations of sexual misconduct against their colleague Charlie Rose.

The veteran news anchor was suspended by the network after the Washington Post published a report detailing the accusations, which came from eight women. Later Tuesday, CBS announced they fired Rose.

Neither O’Donnell nor King shied away from blunt criticism of their absent co-host, who has been a fixture on the show.

“This is a moment that demands a frank and honest assessment about where we stand, and more generally, the safety of women,” O’Donnell said. “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,” she continued. “This will be investigated. This has to end. This behavior is wrong. Period.”

King seemed to grapple with her affection for Rose and her disgust at the allegations against him.

“I really am still reeling,” she said.

“I’ve enjoyed a friendship and a partnership with Charlie for the past five years. I have held him in such high regard,” she said. “And I am 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?”

The Post report, published Monday, detailed allegations from eight women who said Rose engaged in behavior that included explicit phone calls and groping, or exposing himself to them. In a statement, Rose challenged the accuracy of some of the accusations and said he thought he “was pursuing shared feelings,” but he apologized and reiterated a “profound new respect for women and their lives.”

PBS has also announced that it would suspend distribution Rose’s daily interview show.

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