It has been reported that NBC News has fired one of its leading news anchors, Matt Lauer, who is co-host of "Today." This news comes in the aftermath of sexual misbehavior allegations, according to the New York Times. The news was first announced by co-host Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb on Wednesday morning.
The Variety reports that Matt Lauer is accused of inappropriately exposing himself to female employees in his office. He has also been accused of reprimanding female employees for not engaging in sexual acts. He would also reportedly make crude remarks to women and would send them explicit gifts. Overall, the Variety reports of an alleged pattern of consistent sexual harassment toward female employees at NBC.
This report is claimed by Variety to be the result of a two-month investigation into Lauer's behavior at NBC. In fact, Variety spoke with three women, all of whom identified themselves as victims of sexual harassment by Lauer. Their stories have all been corroborated by friends and colleagues who were reportedly told at the time of the misconduct. The women asked Variety to remain unnamed, fearing punishment by their superiors.
Moreover, Variety reports that despite being married, Lauer was very fixated on other women, particularly their bodies and looks, which they apparently can verify with more than 10 accounts from current and former employees. It appears that it may have been well known at NBC that Lauer was known for making lewd comments, both verbally and over text messages, about female employees.
All of this took place in an office environment. Further details can be found in the initial report by Variety, since Faith, Family, America has chosen to not convey particular contents due to their explicit nature.
“On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer,” claimed NBC President Andrew Lack, who took the allegations very seriously.
These allegations, claimed Lack, "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 a reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
Many who work at NBC, including co-host Savannah Guthrie, are very saddened by the information and are mourning the loss of their friend and co-host. The New York Times writes that when Savannah Guthrie announced the news on "Today" on Wednesday morning, she seemed to be on the verge of tears. And so did Al Roker, who had only learned of the news shortly before going on air. He seemed visibly shaken while giving his weather report.
"All we can say is we are heartbroken; I'm heartbroken," said Guthrie.
Page Six reports that the inappropriate sexual behavior reportedly took place throughout 2014. It also took place at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. An NBC staffer filed the complaint on Monday, and sources tell People that it was "serious enough that he was terminated." The accuser writes that inappropriate sexual behavior took place throughout the workplace in 2014.
Earlier it was reported that Katie Couric, who co-hosted the NBC morning show for a total of nine years, appeared on Andy Cohen's "Watch What Happens Live" in 2012. In this appearance, she revealed that Matt Lauer had the "annoying" habit of "pinching" her butt.
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