The Harvey Weinstein revelations of sexual abuse and harassment in the workplace has uncorked a seemingly never ending avalanche of big names to fall as more and more victims are coming forward and speaking out.
Popular and long time ‘Today’ host Matt Lauer is the latest to get the ax, which came rather quickly and without warning.
Here’s the statement from NBC this morning, and commentary from fellow “Today” co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, who only learned of the firing just moments before going on air.
Matt Lauer, the anchor of “Today” for two decades, was fired by NBC News after a detailed complaint about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.
“Today” co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb announced Lauer’s firing Wednesday, telling viewers at the top of the show that they were processing his departure but didn’t yet know all of the details.
In a memo to employees sent Wednesday morning, NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack said the complaint, which was made by a colleague of Lauer’s, prompted a serious review and represented a “clear violation of our company’s standards.”
Lauer is the latest news host to fall, crumbling in the wake of the Charlie Rose revelations that he also sexually harassed women in the workplace. Senators Al Franken and Congressman John Conyers have also been embroiled in allegations against them as well, and the list of alleged scumbags continues to grow. Ironically, many of these people frequently staked the moral high ground, purporting to be moral arbitors as they grilled those who they felt didn’t live up to a certain standard.
Here’s more from NBC, who fired Lauer seemingly fairly quickly, but claim there is evidence to suggest this was not only a credible claim, but one of many to come:
Lack said it was the first complaint lodged against Lauer, 59, for his behavior since he took over as anchor of the show in 1997, but there was “reason to believe” it 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,” Lack said.
Guthrie said, “As I’m sure you can imagine, we are devastated and we are still processing all of this.”
“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.”