America’s most trusted morning sweetheart for the last 20 years, Matt Lauer, is that latest to be outed as a sexual assaulter/harasser. Though specific details of much of the alleged sexual harassment have yet to be released to the public, there was more than enough for NBC to fire him.
Here is what we know (so far) about the allegations. As soon as we know more, we will continue to update you.
1/ According to the NBC News president Andrew Lack, a “detailed complaint from a colleague” arrived at the network on the evening of November 27th.
2/ The allegation presented a clear violation of the company’s standard. After a stern review from network executives, the decision was made to terminate Lauer’s employment.
3/ Though it’s allegedly the first complaint made against Lauer in his 20 years of employment, Lack believes it likely wasn’t the only time Lauer acted inappropriately.
4/ The woman who made the claims isn’t ready to come forth to the public at this time, though she has already spoken to The New York Times in private.
5/ Savannah Guthrie announced the termination of her Today Show co-host on Wednesday morning. She told America, on air. that she was heartbroken over the news of the firing of her “dear, dear friend.” and that she was still processing the news.
6/ Five years ago, Lauer’s former co-anchor Katie Couric told Andy Cohen that Lauer’s most annoying habit was “pinching her butt”.
7/ According to CNN, multiple news outlets have been investigating Lauer’s lewd behavior for the last few months. CNN goes on to claim that Lack and other NBC bigwigs have known for a while that these accusations would be breaking soon and here they are:
Lauer regularly made lewd sexual remarks about female colleagues.
He had “consensual” sexual relationships with NBC employees.
Lauer once invited a female employee to his secluded office, then showed her his penis.
He gave one female colleague a sex toy with an explicit note about how he wanted to use it on her.
Lauer just issued the following apology:
"There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry.…as I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC. Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly…repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I'm committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full time job."
Lauer said that the "last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my own troubling flaws. It's been humbling…I am blessed to be surrounded by the people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace."
We hope that the firing of Lauer sends a precedent to other companies that sexual harassment is a serious matter and abusers should be punished or fired if sufficient and credible evidence supports the claims. Do you think NBC knew more earlier?
Photo by David Shankbone on Flicker
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