Yet another notable TV personality has been relieved of his job after sexual misconduct allegations have arisen surrounding his behavior. This time it’s NBC’s Matt Lauer, the notable host and familiar face on the Today Show.
NBC Chairman Andrew Lack issued a formal statement regarding Lauer’s sudden firing Tuesday night, which Savannah Guthrie, now Lauer’s former co-host, addressed during the show’s opening segment. Like many other teams that have seen a member axed due to similar misbehavior, Guthrie and stand-in Hota Kotb were still processing the news. It’s also been reported that Guthrie was unaware of the firing until minutes before the show.
“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. And I will tell you right now, we do not know more than what I just shared with you,” Guthrie noted. “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.”
“It’s hard to reconcile with what we are hearing with the man who we know, who walks in this building every single day. 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,” Kotb added.
Today’s Al Roker was also visibly upset during the morning’s broadcast, as Lauer has been a friend of his for 30 years.
A source with People Magazine says Lauer’s firing comes just after the dismissal of NBC talent booking executive Matt Zimmerman a few weeks ago. Though the information points to the idea that Zimmerman’s alleged affair was consensual, that is not always the case when dealing with someone who is acting in a superior role.
Matt Lauer has been terminated from NBC News. On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment. pic.twitter.com/1A3UAZpvPb
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 29, 2017
When the affair ended, the woman reportedly felt “manipulated, misled and used,” which led her to eventually complain to management that she had been taken advantage of. NBC has begun to ignore the concept of “how much consent,” and instead decided that firing any employee over an affair is justified because it represents improper workplace conduct.
In Lack’s statement for NBC, the chairman noted that even though there was only a single complaint that has come to their attention, it was the right thing moving forward.
“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,” he said. “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.”
“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,” added Lack.
“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. To that end, Noah and I will be meeting with as many of you as possible throughout the day today to answer your questions,” he concluded.
Lauer is not alone in being accused and terminated for actions like these, as dozens upon dozens of allegations have continued to surface since the upheaval of Hollywood mogul, and sexual predator, Harvey Weinstein. It can be said without a shadow of a doubt that Lauer will not be the last.