ICYMI, Matt Lauer of NBC has been fired for inappropriate conduct after a colleague came forward to NBC executives about a sexual harassment charge against the journalist. While the news only came out on Wednesday, sources are reporting that the investigation had been going on for over a month. Lauer had been working with NBC and “The Today Show” for over two decades and was a staple of their morning program. His colleagues were in shock and disbelief when the news came to them early Wednesday morning.
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
According to CNN, the accuser’s attorney, Ari Wilkenfeld, issued a statement about the charges saying:
“Over the course of several hours, my client detailed egregious acts of sexual harassment and misconduct by Mr. Lauer. In fewer than than 35 hours, NBC investigated and removed Mr. Lauer,” Wilkenfeld said. “Our impression at this point is that NBC acted quickly and responsibly, as all companies should when confronted with credible allegations about sexual misconduct in the workplace. It is our hope that NBC will continue to do what it can to repair the damage done to my client—their employee—and any other women who may come forward. While I am impressed by NBC’s response to date, I am awed by the courage my client showed to be the first to raise a complaint and to do so without making any demands other than asking the company do the right thing. This is how the system should work.”
And, while many people are shocked at the charges against Lauer, some aren’t. In 2012, Katie Couric, Lauer’s former co-host on “The Today Show” was featured on Bravo’s show “Watch What Happens Live” with Andy Cohen. Cohen asked Couric what Matt Lauer’s most annoying habit was and she answered:
“Hmmm…he pinches me on the ass a lot.”
Nobody really made a huge deal about it, both Couric and Cohen laughed it off. But, in reality, that kind of behavior is sexual harassment and if Couric really wanted to, she could have filed charges against her co-host. This is a bigger issue than just friends being “playful” in the office. The problem with having this type of rhetoric and “jokester” mentality around situations that involve sexual harassment and assault is that the person believes it’s okay. If one woman allows it to happen, the person goes throughout their life believing the behavior and the tendencies are accepted, normalized and completely allowed. With Couric not stopping Lauer once during their 15 years together on air, he went on to most likely believed all of his colleagues were comfortable with him treating them this way.
It’s disgusting and it should never be allowed. NBC may want to pretend that this is the first time Lauer has been accused of this kind of behavior, but it has been stated in the media numerous times throughout the years, by Katie Couric and his former colleague, Ann Curry. Both Couric and Curry were let go from “The Today Show,” while Lauer continued to host. It seems to be the same narrative going on throughout Hollywood – women are silenced and pushed out of the picture so men can thrive comfortably. It’s absolute bullsh*t and it should never be this way. People on Twitter are now calling bullsh*t on NBC and their excuses – and rightfully so.