The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication rescinded its hallmark award given to television host Charlie Rose following numerous allegations of unwanted sexual advances.
The school’s founding dean, Christopher Callahan, said it decided to revoke the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, which Rose received in 2015.
“This unprecedented action is taken with the utmost seriousness and deliberation. We are not in the business of trying to rewrite history,” Callahan said in a statement Friday.
He called the award one that celebrates “lifetime achievement” and “does not come with term limits.”
“The idea of ‘taking back’ a Cronkite Award is so foreign that the possibility was never even considered when the award was first created by Walter, the school and the Cronkite Endowment Board of Trustees more than 30 years ago,” he wrote, referring to legendary CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite.
Callahan said he believes the allegations against Rose, and called them “so egregious that they demand nothing less than a reversal of history.”
“The damage caused by Mr. Rose’s actions extends far beyond the news organizations for which he worked,” Callahan said.
He noted that Rose’s alleged victims — young women — were much like those the school aims to nurture.
They are “young women who deserve to enter workplaces that reward them for their hard work, intelligence and creativity and where they do not have to fear for their safety or dignity.”
Stars accused of sexual harassment and assault
The Cronkite School is an independent school at Arizona State University and is the home of Phoenix’s PBS station.
Callahan said that in rescinding the award, he hopes to signal that Rose’s alleged misconduct is “unacceptable” and “must stop.”
He acknowledged the action as symbolic.
“But we think the message is important — to our current students, past students, future students, and all of journalism. And that is why we are taking this unprecedented action today.”
PBS and CBS both cut ties with Rose after the The Washington Post detailed extensive allegations of sexual harassment of his subordinates.
Eight women, who either worked, or aspired to work for Rose told The Post he made unwanted sexual advances — including lewd phone calls and groping their genitals — toward them between the late 1990s and 2011.
New allegations against the disgraced journalist have since surfaced. Two women who worked on a CBS morning show with Rose said he grabbed them inappropriately, with one saying he also whispered a sexual innuendo.