NBC News announced Wednesday morning that the network fired “Today” host Matt Lauer following a complaint of “inappropriate sexual behavior” filed on Monday night.
“Today” co-host Savannah Guthrie read aloud a memo from NBC News Chair Andy Lack on air explaining the decision to terminate Lauer’s contract with the network.
“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,” Lack said in the memo. “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 incident.”
Guthrie said that NBC employees learned of the news on Wednesday morning and said that they are “devastated” and still “processing” the news. She said she is “heartbroken” for both Lauer and the colleague who came forward with the complaint.
“We are grappling with a dilemma that so many people have faced these past few weeks. How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly? And I don’t know the answer to that,” Guthrie continued. “But I do know that this reckoning that so many organizations have been going through is important, it’s long overdue, and it must result in workplaces where all women, all people feel safe and respected.”
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
In the memo, Lack added that NBC News is “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,” he said.
NBC News terminated Lauer before any allegations became public. However, CNN’s Brian Stelter reported on “New Day” that the New York Times and Variety have been investigating Lauer.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 29, 2017