In a prepared statement Wednesday morning, NBC announced that a detailed complaint of inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Today show host Matt Lauer had been filed with the company Monday night.
Lauer’s behavior has apparently been under investigation by multiple news agencies including The New York Times for several weeks, and NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack has stated that although it was the first complaint filed against Lauer in his more than two decades with NBC, “It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment.”
Lack added, “We were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
Lauer was reportedly informed of the company’s decision Tuesday night, while Today co-host Savannah Guthrie was informed overnight. The rest of the cast and crew were notified shortly before going live Wednesday morning.
Lauer grew up in Westchester County, living in Ardsley, Harstdale, and Chappaqua, and later rented an apartment in North Salem in the early 1990s, just prior to landing his first on-camera work for NBC in New York City.
Guthrie stated, “As I’m sure you can understand, we are devastated. I’m heartbroken for Matt,” but also for the woman who accused Lauer, adding, “it’s long overdue” that women feel comfortable reporting unacceptable behavior.
Hota Kotb, who co-hosted with Guthrie for the day, asked the question that has cropped up often following revelations and accusations against many famous and powerful men in the wake of the Harvey Wienstein scandal, “How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly?”