Rose, 75, was suspended Monday from the CBS morning show after eight women came forward with sexual misconduct allegations in a report published by The Washington Post — saying the veteran broadcast journalist made non-consensual sexual advances towards them, including groping, lewd calls and walking naked in their presence, while they either worked for or aspired to work for the TV host on his Charlie Rose show spanning from the late ’90s to 2011.
“It takes a lot of courage for these women to come forward and I think that they should continue to do so,” O’Donnell, 43, said at the top of Monday’s show. “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.”
“Charlie does not get a pass here. He does not get a pass from anyone in this room. We are all deeply affected, we are all rocked by this ” added King, 62. “I can’t stop speaking about the anguish of these women. What happened to their dignity, what happened to their bodies, what happened to maybe their careers — I can’t stop thinking about that and the pain they’re going through.”
Viewers watching — including Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen, who spent 10 years at CBS News and once served as a producer for CBS This Morning — were quick to applaud O’Donnell and King online, with Cohen telling them they did a “good job.”
“Kudos to CBS this morning for addressing Charlie Rose story head on, with blunt candor,” wrote West Wing Reports founder Paul Brandus.
“Bravo to Gayle King & Nora O’Donnell on CBS This Morning,” added another user. “Both women handled the Charlie Rose situation very well. Both were visibly shaken by the story of the colleague but pulled no punches. A lesson in journalism. Job well done.”
Good job this morning.
— Andy Cohen (@Andy) November 21, 2017
Kudos to CBS this morning for addressing Charlie Rose story head on, with blunt candor. Rose “does not get a pass,” Gayle King says
— West Wing Reports (@WestWingReport) November 21, 2017
Remarkable moment playing out on @CBSThisMorning right now. Gayle King & Norah O’Donnell saying they are very glad women have spoken out.
— Amy Brittain (@AmyJBrittain) November 21, 2017
— Delaware Mermaid (@JoEllenWallace) November 21, 2017
— CatSolus (@catsolus) November 21, 2017
— Gina Nobile (@gnobile9) November 21, 2017
— SageGallagher (@SageGallagher) November 21, 2017
In light of the recent #charlierose sexual scandal, I applaud @NorahODonnell & @GayleKing for their response. It was obviously hard for them but they are standing by the women who made the allegations, & NOT their friend & co-worker. We need to follow their example.
— Linda R. (@itslindar) November 21, 2017
Kudos to Gayle King & Norah O’Donnell for their “he does not get a pass here” attitude, and very strong statement of such.
I am so proud of you both.
Lena Dunham & Gabby Douglas, this is how you do it. https://t.co/jGPGgOZa6Z
— FSM (@Frankie_Tweetz) November 21, 2017
Wow, props to CBS This Morning for not burying the lead. Obviously a painful moment for Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell. She said: “Charlie does not get a pass here or a pass at CBS This Morning. I am clearly on the side of the women who are very hurt or very damaged by this.”
— Charisse Gibson (@OkayCharisse) November 21, 2017
— Stephanie Creasman (@creaswoman) November 21, 2017
Bravo to Gayle King & Nora O’Donnell on CBS This Morning. Both women handled the Charlie Rose situation very well. Both were visibly shaken by the story of the colleague but pulled no punches. A lesson in journalism. Job well done.
— RUSS SALZBERG (@russsalzberg) November 21, 2017
Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King’s statement right now about Charlie Rose is powerful. “What do you say when someone you deeply care about and has done something so horrible?… Charlie doesn’t get a pass here.”
— Helena Okolicsanyi (@helenaaok) November 21, 2017
— Julie Alderman (@juliealderman_) November 21, 2017
Wow. Nice work by the CBS This Morning crew, covering an incredibly delicate situation involving their own cohost.
— The Item Podcast (@itempodcast) November 21, 2017
— Stephanie Creasman (@creaswoman) November 21, 2017
— Justine Herz (@justineherz) November 21, 2017
Cannot imagine how difficult this morning is for you & @GayleKing. As a viewer/super fan, proud/impressed w how you all addressed situation head on, w/no bias. Disappointed, saddened among other things re #CharlieRose, a man I always thought was “one of the good guys”. https://t.co/wV9XMkm3Cp
— J. J. Cannon, Author (@JenCannPro) November 21, 2017
— Michelle S. Jones (@mjonescopycraft) November 21, 2017
— Tracy F (@sloviesays) November 21, 2017
O’Donnell and King both assured viewers that they would continue to report on the allegations against Rose.
“We have a great team here who are committed to bringing you the news even when it affects us so deeply,” King said. “None of us ever thought that we’d be sitting at this table in particular telling this story, but here we are. We will continue to report the news as we always have.”
“This I know is true, women can not achieve equality in the workplace or in society until there is a reckoning or taking of responsibility,” O’Donnell said. “I am so proud to work at CBS News. There are so many incredibly people here, especially on this show. All of you here. This will be investigated. This has to end. This behavior is wrong.”
RELATED VIDEO: Charlie Rose Suspended After Eight Women Accuse Him of Sexual Harassment: ‘I Deeply Apologize’
In a statement to PEOPLE on Monday, CBS News said that “Charlie Rose is suspended immediately while we look into this matter. These allegations are extremely disturbing and we take them very seriously.”
According to the Post, PBS — which distributes Charlie Rose — and Bloomberg LP — the show is filmed at its headquarters in Manhattan — have also suspended distribution of Charlie Rose.
Rose, who also contributes to 60 Minutes, apologized for his behavior in a statement to the Post: “In my 45 years in journalism, I have prided myself on being an advocate for the careers of the women with whom I have worked. Nevertheless, in the past few days, claims have been made about my behavior toward some former female colleagues.”
“It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior. I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken,” his statement continued.
“I have learned a great deal as a result of these events, and I hope others will too,” he concluded. “All of us, including me, are coming to a newer and deeper recognition of the pain caused by conduct in the past, and have come to a profound new respect for women and their lives.”