[UPDATE: Lauer has now released an official statement on the matter.]
NBC has fired Today Show host Matt Lauer after a workplace complaint was lodged against him for inappropriate sexual behavior. Lauer has worked steadily for NBC News since back in 1992, and took over as co-anchor of The Today Show in early 1997. Lauer was also a contributor to Dateline NBC, and hosted events such as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and Christmas at Rockefeller Center. Lauer has been a consistent presence on NBC airwaves over 20 years, and it's safe to say that the announcement of Lauer's firing will come as a shock to most.
Lauer was fired following the filing of a detailed workplace complaint against him alleging inappropriate sexual behavior. The complaint was just filed Monday night, so one assumes that the allegations against Lauer must be quite serious for NBC to part ways with him this quickly. Details of the complaint have yet to be publicly released though, so exactly what Lauer allegedly did remains under wraps for now.
Fittingly, the public announcement of Lauer's firing from Today was made on the show itself this morning, by Lauer's now former colleagues Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb. Needless to say, they seem about as surprised as anyone else, and understandably shaken. The full announcement can be seen below, via Today's Twitter account.
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
As mentioned in the above video, the news was broken to NBC employees in a memo this morning from NBC News boss Andrew Lack. While Lack says that the complaint against Lauer was the first to be officially filed against the host in his decades at NBC, the network also received credible information that suggests that Lauer's alleged behavior wasn't an isolated incident.
Lauer is only the latest high-profile figure in the worlds of entertainment and news to see their career get rocked by allegations of sexual misconduct. Just last week, CBS This Morning co-anchor and PBS host Charlie Rose was fired after being accused of misconduct by eight women. Other alleged perpetrators have so far included Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., Jeremy Piven, Dustin Hoffman, George Takei, and enough additional names to require another paragraph. The way things are going, it's doubtful that Lauer will be the last powerful person to face such accusations.
UPDATE: Lauer has now released an official statement of his own:
"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. 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."
Source: The Today Show