Matt Lauer fired by NBC News for ‘inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace’
Matt Lauer was fired from NBC News on Wednesday after an employee filed a complaint about “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace,” the network announced.
Savannah Guthrie made the announcement at the top of the “Today” show, where Lauer has been an anchor for two decades.
Guthrie said she was informed just moments before going on the air.
“This is a sad morning at ‘Today’ and NBC News,” she said. “As I’m sure you can understand, we are devastated. I’m heartbroken for Matt. He is my dear, dear colleague.”
Guthrie also said she was heartbroken for the woman who accused Lauer of misconduct, noting “it’s long overdue” that women feel comfortable coming forward against abusive men.
NBC News chairman Andrew Lack said in a memo to staff that it was the first complaint lodged against Lauer in his career at the network.
The memo read:
“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 event.
Our high priority is to create a workplace 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 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.
Just last week, CBS News fired one of its own morning anchors, Charlie Rose, after a report in The Washington Post chronicled years of sexual misconduct.
President Donald Trump took to Twitter Wednesday morning to tweet about the firing.
Hoda Kotb, on the set with Guthrie, said she has known Lauer for years and “loved him as a friend and a colleague.”
Lauer, 59, was named a co-anchor of “Today” in January 1997 after three years as the newsreader. He was set to co-host the annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree Wednesday night.