NBC Fires Longtime TODAY Anchor Matt Lauer Following Sexual Behavior Complaint
CNN reports that NBC News has fired longtime TOAY anchor Matt Lauer after an employee filed a complaint about "inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace." The announcement was made by Savannah Guthrie at the beginning of this morning's broadcast. Lauer has served as anchor of the show for two decades.
In a memo to the staff, NBC News chairman Andrew Lack explained that although it was the first complaint against Lauer in his career at the network, "we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident." (see the memo in full below)
Guthrie was informed of the news just minutes before airtime. She began the top of the show by telling viewers, "This is a sad morning at 'Today' and NBC News. As I'm sure you can understand, we are devastated. I'm heartbroken for Matt. He is my dear, dear colleague." Guthrie added that she was heartbroken for the woman who accused Lauer of misconduct, sharing her belief that it was "long overdue" that women feel comfortable coming forward with their stories.
TODAY's Hoda Kotb added that she has known Lauer for years and "loved him as a friend and a colleague."
Watch this morning's announcement below:
Below is Lack's full 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 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.
Photo by: Tyler Essary/NBC