Tavis Smiley appeared in his regular twice-a-week slot on the Tom Joyner Morning Show yesterday and avoided any mention of the dust-up sparked by the host’s open letter questioning his reason for leaving at the end of June.
He said that his departure would clear more time to develop future projects under his Tavis Smiley Group. As we reported a few days ago, Joyner had alleged in an open letter that Smiley was really leaving because of massive fan backlash surrounding his guarded stance on Barack Obama. Smiley alluded to the notion briefly, but neither confirmed nor denied the accusation.
“I realized a long time ago that you’re never rewarded for virtue, so, I’ve just tried to tell the truth as I see it, even when you didn’t agree. I can almost guarantee that between now and the end of June, you’re going to fall out with me again,” he said while expressing his appreciation for Joyner’s listeners. “That said, I always prefer light, but you better believe that I can take the heat.”
Smiley began his address by saying he was “shocked” that Joyner decided to announce his June departure on Friday. He stated: “I had no idea that my dear friend Tom Joyner was going to share with you Friday morning what we had just discussed barely 12 hours earlier Thursday evening. But I have accepted Tom’s apology and that is for me, now, old business.”
Smiley went on to express his profound gratitude for Joyner, who allowed him the opportunity 12 years ago to deliver his social and political commentary to a national audience. “On the real, I’d take a bullet for Tom Joyner,” said Smiley. “Not in my heart, maybe in my arm …my left arm… maybe in my leg! Not in my heart, but I would take a bullet for Tom Joyner. I love this brother.”
The remainder of Smiley’s words focused on the various projects he intends to develop with his extra time.