- The “Today” show hosts have vowed to cover the allegations against their former colleague Matt Lauer “as journalists” and be transparent with viewers.
- Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, and Kathie Lee Gifford have said on the show that they are saddened by the allegations and grappling with how to process the news.
- The “Today” show has since reported on subsequent allegations made by other Lauer accusers in investigations by Variety and The New York Times.
NBC’s “Today” show hosts have been open with their emotions in their coverage of the multiple sexual misconduct allegations against their former colleague, Matt Lauer, who was fired from the network on Wednesday.
Co-host Savannah Guthrie first announced Lauer’s firing on the Wednesday morning show, saying she and her colleagues were “devastated” by the news, but vowed to cover the story “as reporters, as journalists” and be transparent with viewers.
“I’m heartbroken for Matt, he is my dear friend and partner, and he is beloved by many, many people here. And I’m heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story, and any other women who have their own stories to tell,” Guthrie said.
“And we are grappling with a dilemma that so many people have faced these past few weeks: How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly? And I don’t know the answer to that.”
Kathie Lee Gifford also expressed sorrow for both Lauer and his accuser in the show’s fourth hour that day. She revealed that she texted Lauer after the allegations were made public, saying, “I adore you.”
“What we need now is forgiveness and we need mercy for one another, and we don’t need taunts and we don’t need ugliness. We have enough of that in the world,” Gifford said. “I send out my love right now to the person, whoever it is, that came forward – may God heal that person.”
Since the initial announcement, the show has followed up on reports from The New York Times and Variety that have documented multiple women’s allegations against Lauer, some of which date back decades.
New allegations are piling up against Lauer
NBC News correspondent Stephanie Gosk appeared on “Today” on Thursday to report on the subsequent developments, noting that Lauer was “among the most high-profile men in the country brought down by allegations of sexual misconduct,” and calling him “a skilled interviewer of ordinary people, celebrities, and politicians alike.”
“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions,” he said. “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.”
Variety’s report included multiple allegations from current and former NBC employees saying Lauer had engaged in a pattern of inappropriate behaviour during his time at the network. It contained an accusation that Lauer once gifted a sex toy to a female colleague, accompanied by a note about how he wanted to use it on her.
It also says he allegedly exposed himself to another female employee after summoning her to his office, then reprimanding her for not participating in a sexual act. Variety reported that several staffers said they complained to network executives about Lauer’s behaviour but were ignored.
The Times reported on Wednesday that NBC received two new complaints that day about Lauer, including one from a woman who alleged that Lauer invited her to his office in 2001, locked the door from the inside, then sexually assaulted her.
The “Today” hosts continued reporting on the developments on Friday, broadcasting photographs taken of Lauer near his Long Island home, and noting that there are now “between three and six” women who have accused Lauer of sexual harassment or assault.
“Questions have been raised about whether NBC News executives knew of the complaints prior to Monday evening,” Guthrie said. “Several former executives said they didn’t know of any complaints. And the network responded saying, unequivocally, no current management knew about any accusations.”
WATCH: First photo of Matt Lauer surfaces after firing as NBC and former executives deny prior knowledge of compaints pic.twitter.com/ymQgFuMzec
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 1, 2017
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