Matt Lauer being fired out of nowhere has to be the biggest shocker yet in the sexual misconduct shakeups that we are seeing within the entertainment industry.
While Harvey Weinstein might have had more far-reaching power and Kevin Spacey is a movie star, families across America invited Lauer and the Today show crew into their homes every morning. This is a big deal.
When Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb broke the news this morning, they didn’t have any details. Now, the allegations are emerging and it might be worse than many have expected.
After a two-month investigation (wow!), Variety is reporting an assortment of claims. Here’s a bulleted list of some of the craziest stuff Lauer allegedly did:
- He gave a colleague a sex toy along with an explicit note telling her how he’d like her to use it.
- He dropped his pants and revealed his penis to female coworkers.
- He reprimanded a female employee for not engaging in a sexual act.
- He quizzed female producers about who they’d slept with and offered to trade names.
- He engaged people in a game of “f*ck, marry, kill” and named female co-hosts he’d like to have sex with.
- He sexually assaulted a female employee during a trip to the Sochi Olympics in 2014.
Women say that they have spoken up over the years and that top NBC executives are aware of Lauer’s behavior but declined to punish or fire him before because they didn’t want their ratings to suffer.
Lauer was considered the “crown jewel” of the network with a salary of $25 million annually.
Just this past September, Lauer asked Fox News star anchor, Bill O’Reilly, who has been accused of sexual misconduct, if he’d ever sent lewd text messages to colleagues. “Think about those … women and what they did,” Lauer said. “They came forward and filed complaints against the biggest star at the network they worked at. Think about how intimidating that must have been. Doesn’t that tell you how strongly they felt about you?”
Talk about coming full circle, right? So far, Lauer hasn’t made any sort of comment or statement but, when he does, it should be interesting.