Matt Lauer Fired Over Inappropriate Sexual Behavior Complaint
Longtime NBC News anchor Matt Lauer has been fired over inappropriate sexual behavior, the network confirmed. Earlier this week, a colleague complained about the inappropriate behavior, leading to his termination. NBC News chief Andrew Lack cited in an internal memo to employees that there had been,
“a clear violation of our company standards.”
Wednesday morning, Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb announced the news during the 7 a.m. hour of the show stating,
For the moment all we can say is that we are heartbroken. I’m heartbroken for Matt. He is my dear, dear friend and my 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.
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. But I do know that this reckoning that so many organizations have been going through is important. It’s long overdue and it must resolve in workplaces where all women, all people, feel respected.”
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. I will tell you that right now we do not know more than what we just shared with you. But we will be covering the story as reporters, as journalists. I’m sure we will be learning more details in the hours and days to come and we will share that with you.
This is a very tough morning for both of us. I’ve known Matt for 15 years as a friend and as a colleague It’s hard to reconcile what we are hearing with the man who we know who walks in this building every day.
Guthrie had worked with Lauer as co-host since 2012, broke the news at the opening of of the show. Lauer, had been with the network since 1997, and was one of NBC News’ highest-paid talents, helming The Today Show alongside numerous co-anchors and scoring the network’s biggest interviews. In 2016, Lauer signed a two-year contract extension through 2018 for $20 million dollars. His firing comes a week after CBS News fired veteran journalist Charlie Rose after several women accused the CBS This Morning co-host of sexual misconduct. Similarly, CBS This Morning co-hosts Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell had to announce the news of Rose’s firing to viewers.
President Donald Trump responded to the news via Twitter posting,
Read Lack’s memo to NBC employees below.
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 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.
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.
Lauer has yet to release a statement.