Gayle King Describes Her 'Variety of Emotions' About Charlie Rose to Stephen Colbert

A visibly shaken, self-described “raw” Gayle King talked at length about the allegations of sexual harassment against her friend and former colleague Charlie Rose on last night’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. At the top of her first segment, King said she’d almost canceled the appearance, which had been booked weeks ago for the sake of promoting the annual Oprah’s Favorite Things issue of O magazine, for which King is an editor at large.

Discussing Rose’s misconduct, which as of now eight women have come forward to describe, and his subsequent firing is not one of Gayle King’s favorite things. But she did it nonetheless. Referring to King’s coverage of the allegations on yesterday’s episode of CBS This Morning, Colbert said, “It couldn’t have been easy.”

“It still isn’t easy,” said King. “It’s still very painful, it’s still very hurtful. Charlie and I, we’ve worked together, we’ve been friends. But when you think about the anguish of those women despite that friendship, you still have to report the news.”


King said she winced at Colbert’s monologue that preceded her appearance, which joked about some of the details within the allegations against Rose. “When you were doing the monologue about other people I’m like [mimics laughing],” said King. “And then it was Charlie, I was like, ‘Oh, he’s a friend. I don’t like that. That’s difficult.’ Then I think about what these women were going through. I don’t like that either.”

As opposed to a simple condemnation of Rose, King said, “I’m a variety of emotions. There’s certainly some anger, there’s sadness, there’s compassion, there’s concern. You can hold a variety of emotions around one particular incident, one particular person. I can’t really say I’m one thing. I’ll tell you what I am is raw.”

King said she’s still wrapping her brain around the firing of Rose, an icon in the U.S., but applauds Rose’s accusers. “If anything changes in this, what I do hope is that people will speak up, that companies are sending a message of, ‘We have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior.’ That is a very important thing.”

Some Pig. Terrific. Radiant. Humble.

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Derek Smalls' Courgette

(I didn’t watch the full clip, but based on Rich’s descriptions) this seems like a pretty perfect response.

I think you can feel sadness for a friend who has done something wrong and is suffering the consequences, but she also has her priorities right: she’s supporting the women who were victims, feeling compassion for the pain they’ve experienced, and applauding an environment where bad actors are punished for their actions.