Matt Lauer fired from NBC due to sexual misconduct allegations

By Wade Sheridan and Sam Howard  |  Updated Nov. 29, 2017 at 4:04 PM
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Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Today host Matt Lauer has been fired by NBC after the network received a complaint alleging that he took part in "inappropriate sexual behavior."

Lauer's Today co-host Savannah Guthrie made the announcement on the morning show Wednesday alongside Hoda Kotb. She read a statement from chairman of NBC News 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," Lack said in the statement.

Later Wednesday, Variety published the results of a two-month investigation into Lauer's alleged misconduct at NBC. Unnamed sources told Variety that Lauer was fired after a current NBC employee filed a complaint detailing his alleged sexual misconduct over a span of several months in 2014.

Variety said it spoke with dozens of current and former NBC employees, as well as three women who said the Today co-host sexually harassed them. Those sources offered examples of Lauer's alleged workplace behavior: Lauer once showed his penis to a female colleague, gave a fellow employee a sex toy and would sometimes ask female producers who they'd slept with.

"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," Lack's statement continued. "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," Lack concluded.

"We just learned this moments ago, just this morning," Guthrie said Wednesday morning. "As I'm sure you can imagine, we are devastated and we are still processing all of this. And I will tell you right now, we do not know more than what I just shared with you. But we will be covering this story as reporters, as journalists. I'm sure we will be learning more details in the hours and days to come, and we promise we will share that with you," she said.

"We are heartbroken. I'm heartbroken for Matt -- he is my dear, dear friend and my partner, and he has been loved 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," Guthrie continued.

President Donald Trump tweeted about the firing.

"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!" he said.

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