Since accusations of sexual misconduct made against famed Hollywood director, Harvey Weinstein, emerged in early October, victims of sex crimes have bravely come forward to share their experiences. The epidemic of sexual misconduct allegations is far from over.
Another shocking figure has been the target of sexual misconduct. The Today Show issued a tweet early this morning announcing that Matt Lauer has been terminated from NBC as a result of a sexual misconduct complaint.
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
The tweet reads: “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.”
Today host Savannah Guthrie appeared visibly upset alongside Hoda Kotb this morning. “Hoda’s here with me this morning, because this is a sad morning here at Today and at NBC News,” Guthrie said.
Guthrie shared more details from a statement the company made to employees. The statement, sent from NBC News chairman Andy Lack, revealed that Lauer’s behavior “represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standard.”
The statement also noted, “While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over 20 years he has 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,” the statement concluded.
Guthrie told Today viewers, “As I’m sure you can imagine, we are devastated and we are still processing all of this. And I will tell you right now, we do not know more than what I just shared with you.” She added that she is “heartbroken” for Lauer and any victims involved.
Lauer was heading toward the final year of his contract with NBC, with an annual salary of $20 million. His firing takes place just days after CBS This Morning host, Charlie Rose, was also fired for sexual misconduct alleged by numerous women.
Details about the allegations facing Lauer have not yet emerged. It was only described as a “detailed complaint from a colleague” received Monday night. An NBC spokesperson reportedly said the accuser described sexual misconduct that occurred during the 2014 Sochi Olympics. That information has not been officially confirmed.
Civil rights lawyer, Ari Wilkenfeld, claims to be the legal representative for the complainant but refused to identify her. He provided a statement to The New York Times, reading: “My client and I met with representatives from NBC’s Human Resources and Legal Departments at 6 p.m. on Monday for an interview that lasted several hours. Our impression at this point is that NBC acted quickly, as all companies should when confronted with credible allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace.”
Do you agree with the network’s decision?
Wilkenfeld added, “While I am encouraged by NBC’s response to date, I am in awe of the courage my client showed to be the first to raise a complaint and to do so without making any demands other than the company do the right thing.” The NYT also stated that they made contact with the complainant, but she was not yet ready to speak publicly on the issue.
Lauer has not yet come forward with a statement on the allegations against him. Sexual misconduct is unacceptable and should be wholeheartedly condemned. If Lauer is, in fact, guilty of the misconduct, NBC‘s quick action was the right thing to do.