CBS This Morning co-hosts Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell discussed the sexual misconduct allegations brought against fellow CBS anchor Charlie Rose.

CBS THIS MORNING ON CHARLIE ROSE SEXUAL MISCONDUCT ALLEGATIONS

Eight women have come forward against the 75-year-old host, saying he harassed them with nudity, groping, and lewd conversations. These women were either employees or hopeful employees of Rose between 1990 and 2011, and described incidents when they were 21 to 35. Rose has since apologized for his actions, but was still fired from CBS and both PBS and Bloomberg have suspended his program.

During Tuesday’s broadcast of CBS This Morning, King and O’Donnell responded to the allegations.

“This is a moment that demands a frank and honest assessment about where we stand and more generally the safety of women. Let me be very clear: there is no excuse for this alleged behavior,” O’Donnell began. “It is systematic and pervasive and I’ve been doing a lot of listening and I’m going to continue to do that. This I know is true: women cannot achieve equality in the workplace or in society until there is a reckoning and a taking of responsibility. I am really proud to work at CBS News. There are so many incredible people here, especially on this show – all of you here. This will be investigated. This has to end. This behavior is wrong. Period.”

“I really am still reeling… I think we have to make this matter to women – the women that have spoken up, the women who have not spoken up because they’re afraid. I’m hoping that now they will take the step to speak out, too,” King added. “This becomes a moment of truth. You know, I’ve enjoyed a friendship and a partnership with Charlie for the past five years. I’ve held him in such high regard and I’m really struggling because how do you – what do you say when someone that you deeply care about has done something that is so horrible? How do you wrap your brain around that? I’m really grappling with that.

“That said, Charlie does not get a pass here,” the host continued. “He doesn’t get a pass from anyone in this room. We are all deeply affected. We are all rocked by this. And I want to echo what Norah said, I really applaud the women that speak up despite the friendship. He doesn’t get a pass because I can’t stop thinking about the anguish of these women. What happened to their dignity, what happened to their bodies, what happened maybe to even their careers. I can’t stop thinking about that and the pain they are going through. I also find that you can hold two ideas in your head at the same time, you can grapple with things. And I’m, to be very honest with you, I’m still trying to process all of this. I’m still trying to sort it out because this is not the man I know, but I’m also clearly on the side of the women who have been very hurt and very damaged by this.”

See Rose’s apology in full below:

“In my 45 years in journalism, I have prided myself on being an advocate for the careers of the women with whom I have worked,” Rose said in a statement. “Nevertheless, in the past few days, claims have been made about my behavior toward some former female colleagues.

It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior. I am greatly embarrassed. I have 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. All of us, including me, are coming to a newer and deeper recognition of the pain caused by conduct in the past, and have come to a profound new respect for women and their lives.”