Respected journalist and TV show host Matt Lauer has been fired from NBC after a female staff member accused Lauer of sexual misconduct. The woman has chosen to remain anonymous and is refraining from speaking about the incident publicly.
The news broke to the NBC staff via a memo from the network's news chairman, Andrew Lack, which partly read, "On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over 20 years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident."
Lauer was a very visible and once-trusted person in news. He was often the face of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade as well as a broadcaster of the Summer and Winter Olympics. He also spent 20 years of his career hosting NBC's Today show with co-anchors Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker, Megyn Kelly, and Kathie Lee Gifford. His co-workers learned of his termination just hours before they went on air for Wednesday's (Nov. 29) show.
It was there that Savannah Guthrie, visibly emotional, reported the news of Lauer's dismissal to millions of viewers. She and others on the show admitted they are upset and shocked over the news, with Al Roker saying during his weather report that he is "still trying to process the news."
While this news of Lauer's behavior comes as a shock to many, it's actually not the first time someone has mentioned Lauer's inappropriate actions. Fellow former Today show host Katie Couric said in a 2012 interview on Andy Cohen's Watch What Happens Live that Lauer would pinch her bum often. But NBC and few others reacted to that.
The New York Times also reported in 2013 that former Today co-host Ann Curry claimed that Lauer and the "boys club" off-camera are the reason for her split from the show.
Matt Lauer released a statement on the matter this morning expressing his remorse for what happened, but also mentioning not all the accusations are true. You can read the statement below. ~Alexa Caruso
There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC. Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly. Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I’m committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full-time job. The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my own troubling flaws. It’s been humbling. I am blessed to be surrounded by the people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace.