NEW YORK (AP) – NBC News says longtime “Today” show host Matt Lauer has been fired for “inappropriate sexual behavior.”
Guthrie read a statement from NBC News chairman Andy Lack, stating that the company has received a detailed complaint from a colleague Monday night “about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace” by Lauer. Lack’s statement said the company found that after a serious review of the complaint it represented “a clear violation” of the company’s standards, and Lauer was terminated as a result.
Lack added in his statement that it was the first complaint about Lauer in more than 20 years at NBC, but “we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
Matt Lauer’s former “Today” show colleagues were emotional on-air while dealing with the aftermath of his firing.
Guthrie fought back tears while calling Lauer “my friend and my partner.” She added that she was “heartbroken” for her unnamed colleague who the network said reported Lauer’s behavior Monday night. Hoda Kotb, who replaced Lauer in the anchor chair for the morning, added that she loved Lauer “as a friend and as a colleague” and said it was “hard to reconcile what we are hearing with the man who we know.”
Weatherman Al Roker was also visibly upset on-air, saying he was “still trying to process the news” while giving his report.
The move comes a week after CBS News fired morning anchor Charlie Rose amid reports of sexual misconduct.
Here’s the full statement from Chairman of NBC News and MSNBC Andrew Lack:
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. 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.
Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender.
We are 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. To that end, Noah and I will be meeting with as many of you as possible throughout the day today to answer your questions.