“Today” opened with the announcement from hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb about Matt Lauer’s alleged behavior, and then, for a while at least, it was business as usual.
Matt Lauer is the latest public figure to be accused of sexual misconduct.
Guthrie read a statement on-air from NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack on Wednesday morning:
“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.”
After reading Lack’s statement, Guthrie, who was joined by “Today‘s” Hoda Kotb, said, “As I’m sure you can imagine, we are devastated.” She continued:
“For the moment all we can say is that we are heartbroken. I’m heartbroken for Matt, he is my dear dear friend and my partner and he is beloved by many, many people here. And I’m heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story. And any other women who have their own stories to tell. And we are grappling with a dilemma that so many people have faced these past few weeks. How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly?”
Celebrities and even the POTUS chimed in after the announcement.
Corey Feldman tweeted, “HMMMMM INTERESTING…..THIS MIGHT EXPLAIN THE HOSTILE INTERVIEW WHILE I WAS TRYING 2 EXPOSE THE #TRUTH….EH MATT? NBC Fires Matt Lauer Over Sexual Misconduct Allegation – The New York Times.”
Actress Rose Mcgowan, who accused movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of rape, tweeted, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Matt Lauer.”
Comedian Kathy Griffin wrote, “Matt Lauer has been on my list for a while. It’s really too bad more Americans don’t come to my shows. I pretty much recite the list in every show. Haha. I told you, my memory is long, my friends. I’ve been around a long time…”
President Donald Trump responded on Twitter, writing, “Wow, Matt Lauer was just fired from NBC for ‘inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.’ But when will the top executives at NBC & Comcast be fired for putting out so much Fake News. Check out Andy Lack’s past!”
The “Today” anchors were visibly shaken when delivering the news.