NBC News has fired its now former long-running Today Show host, Matt Lauer, after he was accused of inappropriate sexual activity with a colleague. Lauer was a staple on the morning show for more than two decades prior to the scandal.
He is the latest celebrity to be accused of sexual assault as dozens have been called out for inappropriate behavior.
Today Show hosts Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie announced the news early Wednesday morning. Guthrie revealed Andrew Lack, NBC News chairman, sent a memo to the staff just minutes before the women went on the air. Guthrie read the memo from Lack.
He explained the organization was given a very “detailed complaint” from another colleague that accused Lauer of the unsuitable actions Monday night. Lack stated in the memo that Lauer’s actions were a clear defilement of what NBC News will tolerate.
Lack also explained that even though this was the first allegation against Lauer during his twenty years with the organization, NBC News is convinced this is not the only time Lauer has violated its standards with inappropriate sexual activity.
Considering the quick turnaround from the time of the allegations to NBC News making the decision to fire Lauer, Guthrie said they are still attempting to take in the shocking news. She said they are all “devastated” and “heartbroken.”
The colleague who made the allegations against Lauer has not been identified. But the colleague gave detailed explanations of Lauer’s behavior that occurred “throughout 2014," according to ABC News.
“And because of the seriousness of the accusations, together with information that it may not be an isolated incident, NBC decided to terminate Lauer’s contract,” NBC News correspondent Stephanie Gosk said in a statement from a representative for the network.
Today Show also tweeted the news Wednesday.
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
While the news of Lauer’s firing made headlines Wednesday, there was already lots of speculation about Lauer’s inappropriate behavior based on a statement from The New York Times reporter Jim Rutenberg. He originally reported the story and confirmed the rumors on Good Morning America Wednesday.
Lauer is the latest celebrity to be outed for inappropriate activity, but he’s not the first journalist. Charlie Rose was also fired from CBS News after multiple women came forward and accused of him sexual transgressions. They are both in a long line of celebrity men accused of sexual misconduct in an ongoing scandal. Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Piven, and Oliver Stone have also been accused.
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