When Ann Curry left NBC’s “Today” in 2012, rumors were rampant that longtime NBC anchor Matt Lauer was behind her departure. Curry was considered one of the top stars at NBC and could have been poised to take over a bigger role on the show.
A video of Curry fighting through tears as she said goodbye to the team, and Lauer not exactly looking sad, soon went viral.
“It’s hard not to take it personally. You worry, ‘Am I not good enough? Am I not what people need? Am I asking the right questions?’” Curry said at the time of her departure.
“When people say negative things or speculate, you can’t help but feel hurt,” she said. “I know NBC pays my salary, but I have never doubted who I work for. I think about the people who watch. They’re the ones who matter to me. I want to feel I haven’t dropped the ball when it comes to them.”
Five years later, Lauer is gone, dismissed by NBC after an employee gave a detailed account of an act of sexual assault allegedly committed against her by Lauer. The face that welcomed people to the day’s news for two decades was gone from television in an instant. And Curry’s legion of fans couldn’t be any happier.
As soon as Lauer’s dismissal was announced, Curry fans took to social media to imagine what their favorite news personality was doing with the news.
Others also brought up anchor Tamron Hall, another beloved face of “TODAY” who is no longer employed by NBC.
NBC is reportedly launching an investigation into Lauer’s behavior as an employee. It is believed that other women will come forward with allegations against him.
A statement from NBC President Andy Lack read, in full:
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.
Lauer first appeared on NBC in 1992.