When Gayle King scheduled Tuesday's appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," her plan was to discuss "Oprah's Favorite Things," a holiday project with her friend Oprah Winfrey.
But Tuesday's news about the firing of King's "CBS This Morning" colleague, Charlie Rose, from both CBS and PBS over allegations of sexual misconduct, forced a change in the conversation.
“I came this close to canceling,” King told Colbert about her Tuesday late-night appearance. She said it was difficult to discuss the events leading to the dismissal of Rose, a man she described as "a friend."
Colbert commended King and CBS for how they handled the matter, explaining that King and fellow "CBS This Morning" anchor Nora O'Donnell had reported Rose's firing “objectively and fully” on their morning program earlier in the day.
“It’s still very painful. It’s still very hurtful,” King said. “Charlie and I, we have worked together, been friends. But when you think about the anguish of those women, despite the friendship, you still have to report the news.”
“It’s still very painful. It’s still very hurtful. Charlie and I, we have worked together, been friends. But when you think about the anguish of those women, despite the friendship, you still have to report the news.”
King also mentioned that she was “wincing” during Colbert’s opening monologue -- in which the late-night host cracked jokes about a sweeping number of recent sexual misconduct scandals involving high-profile figures in entertainment, media and government.
“It’s interesting,” King said. “When you were doing the monologue about other people I was like, 'Ah-ha,' and then it was Charlie and I thought, ‘He’s a friend.’ It’s difficult.”
Colbert replied jokingly, “Well, you did your job this morning. I did my job tonight.”
CBS fired Rose after the Washington Post reported that several women linked to Rose's PBS show accused the veteran journalist of sexual harassment. PBS dropped Rose's show and fired him shortly after the CBS announcement.