In a stunning move on Wednesday morning, the host of The Today Show — who has been with NBC News for over twenty years — saw his contract terminated over an incident of “inappropriate sexual behavior.” Here is what NBC News head Andrew Lack had to say in a statement:
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. 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. 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. 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.
While you can say many things about this report, you can also say with confidence that NBC is not messing around when it comes to some of these accusations. They also have little reason to do so. Reporters from the New York Times have been said to be quietly putting together a piece about Lauer for some time and this move allows NBC to jump ahead of the story and ensure that they can move on as quickly as possible.
Below, you can see some of the reactions to the news from the likes of Hota Kotb and Savannah Guthrie, who were told about what happened overnight. It’s a huge change at The Today Show and one that may not be fully felt or realized for several weeks to come. The entire fabric of this news organization is being upended, and Lauer was known for so much more than just his morning show. He helped to anchor such events as the Olympics and also the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade — he just covered that broadcast a week ago.
Feel free to share your reactions to Lauer’s termination below. We’ll have more news as it breaks.
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