Even before eight women came forward to accuse Charlie Rose of sexual misconduct, regular viewers of his shows noted that the TV host often involved himself in awkward, on-air sexual banter.
A Washington Post report published Monday evening cited eight women who said Rose made unwanted sexual advances toward them, including lewd phone calls, walking around naked in their presence, or groping them. Rose apologized in the report, saying he “behaved insensitively at times” and felt “greatly embarrassed.” After the report was published, CBS News suspended Rose, and PBS said it would immediately halt distribution of his show.
Before the report came out, Rose was known for adopting a sexually joking persona when on camera with “CBS This Morning” co-hosts Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King.
In fact, the jokes about kissing, sex, and dating were so ubiquitous, they caught the eye of John Oliver, who used the banter to poke fun at the trio on “Last Week Tonight.”
In one clip, King pulled a part of her shirt aside to jokingly show off a tan, to which Rose said, “Let’s see that one more time.” (She complied.)
In another, King joked to Rose, “Charlie, it’s not good to date co-wokers, so leave me alone.”
In yet another, O’Donnell and Rose were arguing about desserts before O’Donnell said, “I know you like sweet things” — leading Rose to lean in and give her a kiss on the cheek.
“Whew. Alright,” King commented.
In a different clip, King and O’Donnell were singing a song together before Rose commented, “I’m going to die and go to heaven right now.”
Oliver was even asked about the tension between the co-hosts when he appeared on the show to talk about “Last Week Tonight.”
“Are you aware of what’s going on between the two of them?” O’Donnell jokingly asked.
“Oh, I’m aware of what’s happening between the three of you all the time,” Oliver said as the co-hosts all laughed along. “There is an elegant tension every morning. I love it.”
Later on in the interview, O’Donnell asked, “So, why have you decided to shine a light on our sex talk?”
“We don’t so much as shine a light on it as your sex talk shines a light outwards and catches the eye,” Oliver said, as Rose laughed and put his head in his hand, leading Oliver to compare him to a “bashful French girl.”
“He’s so bashful about sex,” O’Donnell quipped, seemingly sarcastically.
As King tried to change the topic to politics, Rose jokingly interjected, “Let’s stay with sex.”