- NBC fired the “Today” host Matt Lauer after receiving a complaint of “inappropriate sexual behaviour in the workplace.”
- Lauer’s “Today” cohost Savannah Guthrie made the announcement on-air Wednesday.
- Katie Couric came forward and accused Lauer of inappropriate behaviour during their time working together.
The TV journalist Matt Lauer has been fired from NBC as a result of “inappropriate sexual behaviour,” the network said Wednesday.
NBC News’ chairman, Andy Lack, issued a statement saying that on Monday he “received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behaviour in the workplace by Matt Lauer.”
Lack’s statement said that it was the first complaint the company had received about Lauer but that NBC had reviewed the situation and had “reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
Katie Couric, Lauer’s cohost on “Today” for 15 years, told TMZ in 2012 that Lauer “pinches me on the arse a lot.”
Ann Curry, another former “Today” cohost who left the show after just about one year “felt that the boys’ club atmosphere behind the scenes at Today undermined her from the start, and she told friends that her final months were a form of professional torture,” according to Brian Stelter’s 2014 book “Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV.”
On October 19, Curry tweeted without explanation “#metoo” in reference to the movement of women outing sexual harrassers in media. It’s unclear who Curry was referencing.
Lack further said “any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender,” and he added that the company was “deeply saddened” by the news.
Speaking to the New York Times, Ari Wilkenfeld, acivl rights lawyer who said he represented the woman who made the complaint to NBC said:
“My client and I met with representatives from NBC’s Human Resources and Legal Departments at 6 p.m. on Monday for an interview that lasted several hours. Our impression at this point is that NBC acted quickly, as all companies should, when confronted with credible allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace. While I am encouraged by NBC’s response to date, I am in awe of the courage my client showed to be the first to raise a complaint and to do so without making any demands other than the company do the right thing.”
Savannah Guthrie, Lauer’s colleague on NBC’s “Today” show, made the announcement Wednesday and read Lack’s statement on-air.
“We are devastated,” she said.
Lauer had been a fixture on NBC since the early 1990s, travelling the world to report on a variety of subjects. He hosted “Today” for two decades.
Lauer reported live from the Winter Olympics in 2014 and interviewed both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election.
Trump reacted Wednesday morning in a tweet: “Wow, Matt Lauer was just fired from NBC for ‘inappropriate sexual behaviour in the workplace.’ But when will the top executives at NBC & Comcast be fired for putting out so much Fake News. Check out Andy Lack’s past!”
NBC’s dismissal of Lauer marks the latest in a string of entertainment and media personalities being ousted in response to accusations of inappropriate behaviour.
Lauer is married to Annette Roque Lauer, a Dutchwoman and former model. He has three kids.
Watch the full statement below:
An emotional Savannah Guthrie announces Matt Lauer has been fired from NBC after a complaint of sexual harassment. News chairman Andy Lack told staff we have "reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident" pic.twitter.com/Emewv7bRQD
— David Mack (@davidmackau) November 29, 2017