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ASU rescinds award given to Charlie Rose amid sexual harassment claims

FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, file photo, Charlie Rose participates in the "CBS This Morning" panel at the CBS 2016 Winter TCA in Pasadena, Calif. The Washington Post says eight women have accused television host Charlie Rose of multiple unwanted sexual advances and inappropriate behavior. CBS News suspended Charlie Rose and PBS is to halt production and distribution of a show following the sexual harassment report. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

PHOENIX — Arizona State University announced Friday it rescinded an award given to former CBS News anchor Charlie Rose after he was accused of sexual harassment by multiple women.

In an email, Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan said the school was rescinding Rose’s Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, which was given to him in 2015.

Callahan called the action “unprecedented” and said it was “taken with the utmost seriousness and deliberation.”

“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 added.

Callahan said the school determined that the sexual harassment allegations made against Rose were “so egregious that they demand nothing less than a reversal of history.”

The dean said Rose’s actions of sexual misconduct “rise to that level” because the damage caused by his actions extend “far beyond the news organizations for which he worked.”

“The actions victimized young women much like those who make up the overwhelming majority of Cronkite students – 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.

“In rescinding this award, we hope to send an unequivocal message that what Mr. Rose did is unacceptable, and that such behavior – far too common in not just media companies but many organizations – must stop,” Callahan said.

The decision to rescind the award was made with input from Cronkite students, alumni, faculty, staff, news leaders and the school’s Board of Trustees.

“All of these thoughtful and thorough discussions were tremendously helpful in the decision-making process, as well as an uplifting reminder of the integrity, passion and leadership within our school community – from students and faculty to supporters, alumni and the Board of Trustees,” Callahan said.

The school announced earlier this week that it was considering revoking the award following an explosive report from The Washington Post that detailed allegations made by eight women alleging inappropriate behavior at the hands of Rose, including “lewd phone calls, walking around naked in their presence, or groping their breasts, buttocks or genital areas.”

ASU called the claims against Rose “deeply troubling” and said that his PBS show was pulled from Arizona airwaves this week.

Rose was fired from CBS on Tuesday, where he had co-hosted “CBS This Morning” since 2012 and was also a contributor to “60 Minutes.”

Three women went on the record in the Post’s deeply-reported story. Reah Bravo, a former associate producer for Rose’s PBS show who began working for him in 2007, told the newspaper: “He was a sexual predator, and I was his victim.” She said Rose groped her on multiple occasions and once, during a business trip to Indiana, called her to his hotel room where he emerged from a shower naked.

Kyle Godfrey-Ryan, one of Rose’s former assistants, was 21 when she said Rose repeatedly called her to describe his fantasies of her swimming naked at the pool at his Long Island home while he watched from his bedroom. She said she was fired when Rose learned she had spoken to a mutual friend about his behavior.

Megan Creydt, who worked as a coordinator on Rose’s PBS show in 2005 and 2006, told the newspaper that she was sitting in the passenger seat as Rose drove in Manhattan one day when he put his hand on her thigh. Five women interviewed by the Post described similar grabs to their legs in what many interpreted as an attempt to see their reactions.

Rose said that he has 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. I have learned a great deal as a result of these events, and I hope others will, too.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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