The purge of public figures over sexual harassment hit its peak earlier today when NBC fired co-host of the “Today” show, Matt Lauer. This was swiftly executed after determining that he previously had “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace” with a subordinate. In addition, there was reason to believe, despite this being the first complaint against Lauer in his 20+ years at NBC, that this wasn’t a one-time thing. This adds to the growing list of influential personalities being ousted including Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, political analyst Mark Halperlin and the most recent CBS Host Charlie Rose.
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
On Monday night, NBC received a comprehensive grievance from a female colleague that Lauer sexually harassed her. The following day, the woman and her attorney visited NBC headquarters in Manhattan to disclose the story more in depth for several hours. It was concluded that Lauer’s behavior was “a clear violation of [NBC’] standards” and decided to terminate his contract that same night. NBC News Chairman and close acquaintance of Lauer, Andrew Slack, shared the news with him over the phone on Tuesday night. Sources reported that Lauer did not resist the verdict and respected their discernment. This investigation was opened and closed in less than 35 hours validating the immense effort from NBC to get to the bottom of the issue. The woman’s attorney, Ari Wilkenfeld, acknowledged this in a statement reporting:
Our impression at this point is that NBC acted quickly and responsibly, as all companies should when confronted with credible allegations about sexual misconduct in the workplace…While I am impressed by NBC’s response to date, I am awed by the courage my client showed to be the first to raise a complaint and to do so without making any demands other than asking the company do the right thing. This is how the system should work.
Lauer’s involvement with the accuser began at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. NBC staff were aware of their relationship but no mention of suspected foul play. It’s a shocking tribulation for broadcast television and a prestigious name with over 20 years in the business. Aside from co-hosting the “Today” Show, Lauer anchored the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parades along with the Winter and Summer Olympics. Lauer’s colleague and “Today” co-host, Savannah Gunthrie, expressed love for her “dear friend” and was “heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story.” Lauer has not released an official statement and NBC did not mention who would take his place.
(Lauer’s inappropriate behavior allegedly happened at 2014 Sochi Games 4:59)
Well, did you see that coming? Do you think that Lauer deserved to get fired or should I have been given a chance? Let us know what you think of this case by dropping us a note!
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