Matt Lauer has been the face of Today, on NBC for quite some time. However, he will no longer be part of NBC’s tomorrow, after becoming the latest media figure to get fired over sexual misconduct.
While it’s no longer surprising to see major media figures ousted over sexual misconduct, somewhat surprisingly, Matt Lauer’s ouster has a small sports connection.
According to NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik, Lauer’s alleged misconduct occurred during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi:
con't/ NBC News brass informed by HR on Tues AM – made decision to fire Lauer Tues evening. NBC aware that Variety & NYT had been exploring stories but neither had yet formally contacted network, per source.
— David Folkenflik (@davidfolkenflik) November 29, 2017
According to a memo from NBC News Chairman Andy Lack, “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.”
According to CNN, Variety and the Times were more than “exploring” stories on Lauer, both had been investigating the Today show co-anchor for weeks.
According to Page Six, the lawyer for the woman involved, Ari Wilkenfeld, met with his client and NBC officials on Monday evening.
“My client and I met with representatives from NBC’s Human Resources and Legal Department at 6 p.m. on Monday. Over the course of several hours, my client detailed egregious acts of sexual harassment and misconduct by Mr. Lauer,” Wilkenfeld said in a statement.
“In fewer than than 35 hours, NBC investigated and removed Mr. Lauer. 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,” Wilkenfeld added.
Lauer’s agent, Ken Linder, did not respond to calls or emails from Page Six, seeking comment.