On Nov. 29, “TODAY” fans woke up to the news that long-term anchor, Matt Lauer, had been fired from NBC following a complaint of “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.”
NBC News chairman Andrew Lack sent a memo to “TODAY” staff in the early hours of Wednesday morning saying Lauer was terminated following a complaint by a colleague. In the memo, Lack wrote, “We were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
In the beginning of the broadcast, Savannah Guthrie was joined by Hoda Kotb to address Lauer’s absence.
“We just learned this moments ago. Just this morning. As I am sure you can imagine, we are devastated and we are still processing all of this,” Guthrie started the broadcast after reading the official statement given by Lack.
“I’m sure we will be learning more details as the hours and days come. We promise we will share that with you. All we can say is we are heartbroken. We are heartbroken for Matt. He is my dear, dear friend and my partner and he is beloved by many people here. And, I am heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward with her story and any women who have their own stories to tell,” Guthrie said.
Guthrie said that she hopes that a change comes to workplaces so that all employees can feel “respected.” Kotb agreed that the morning was a rather somber one and she was also trying to process.
“This is a very tough morning for all of us,” a somber Hoda Kotb added.
“It’s hard to reconcile what we are hearing with the man that we know who walks in the building every day. We are still trying to process it.” she finished.
With that, Guthrie promised viewers that they would continue to deliver what they promised and give America the top news stories of the day.
Lauer’s dismissal comes just a week after Charlie Rose was fired by CBS News following similar accusations.