Veteran NBC News anchor Matt Lauer was terminated on Wednesday after two decades with the “Today” show after the network announced that a colleague had filed an extensive sexual harassment complaint against him.
“On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer,” NBC News president Andrew Lack wrote in a company-wide memo. “It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment.
Lack went on to suggest that even though it has never fielded any accusations against Lauer in the past, this one is serious enough to warrant immediate action because it may represent a pattern of behavior.
“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 reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident,” he said.
Savannah Guthrie, who has co-hosted “Today” alongside Lauer since 2012, was emotional as she announced his imminent departure on Wednesday morning’s broadcast.
“All we can say is we are heartbroken,” Guthrie said, on the verge of tears. “I’m heartbroken.”
“How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly?” she wondered, describing Lauer as a “dear, dear friend.”
President Trump reacted to the news on Twitter, where he riffed on fake news and called on supporters to investigate Lack.
Wow, Matt Lauer was just fired from NBC for “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.” But when will the top executives at NBC & Comcast be fired for putting out so much Fake News. Check out Andy Lack’s past!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2017
“Wow, Matt Lauer was just fired from NBC for ‘inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.’ But when will the top executives at NBC & Comcast be fired for putting out so much Fake News. Check out Andy Lack’s past!” he wrote.