Matt Lauer Fired From NBC’s ‘Today’ for Sexual Assault Allegations
Matt Lauer has been fired from the Today Show for alleged sexual assault of a staffer. The announcement came this morning from Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie during the seven o’clock hour of the morning show.
The story was brought up as breaking news, shocking many viewers that the anchor of 20 years had been involved in the sexual misconduct case.
The case was brought forward this past Monday, and NBC employees were informed of Lauer’s termination and the situation in a memo today. NBC News chairman Andrew Lack wrote in the memo, “Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender.”
“While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident,” he continued.
He stated,”We are deeply saddened by this turn of events. But we will face it together as a news organization — and do it in as transparent a manner as we can.”
The employee that initiated the review of Lauer for sexual misconduct has not been named at this time. Lack also mentioned that the corporation had “reason to believe” that the reported incident may not be isolated.
At @Variety, @RaminSetoodeh & I had been working on a Matt Lauer story for months and NBC was aware. There are multiple women we’ve spoken to with far-ranging accusations against Lauer. The power of journalism has never been more evident with this cultural change.
— Elizabeth Wagmeister (@EWagmeister) November 29, 2017
The complaint is rumored to be so detailed and damaging, that NBC has taken the step of removing him along with possibly having additional information on the abuse of other victims, although no information is available on the latter.
An NBC insider said Matt Lauer’s alleged victim complained to HR on Monday: “This happened so quickly. She didn’t go to the media, she made a complaint to NBC’s human resources, and her evidence was so compelling that Matt was fired on Tuesday night. The victim says she has evidence that this has also happened to other women, but so far we don’t have evidence of that.”
It is rumored that several news outlets were working on stories about his alleged sexual misconduct.
Both Guthrie and Hoda Kotb were saddened to hear the loss of their longtime colleague. Savannah began the Today Show by announcing the news at the top of the hour.
“On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment,” Lack wrote.
Guthrie has worked with Lauer since 2012 and stated that she was informed about his removal right before going on the air.
“We just learned this moments ago, just this morning. As I’m sure you can imagine, we are devastated and we are still processing all of this,” she said.
“And I will tell you right now, we do not know more than what I just shared with you. But we will be covering this story as reporters, as journalists. I’m sure we will be learning more details in the hours and days to come, and we promise we will share that with you.”
She continued: “We are heartbroken. I’m heartbroken for Matt — he is my dear, dear friend and my partner, and he has been loved 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.”
Hoda Kotb said it was a “tough morning,” and she “loved him as a friend and a colleague.”
“It’s hard to reconcile with what we are hearing with the man who we know, who walks in this building every single day,” she said. “We were both woken up with the news, kind of pre-dawn, and we’re trying to process it and trying to make sense of it — and it’ll take some time for that.”
The anchors did mention that they would continue to update the ongoing story as further details are released.