The 61-year-old broadcast journalist visited The Late Show With Stephen Colbert Monday night, where she spoke candidly about her reaction to her former cohost’s termination from Today.
At first, she kept pretty quiet when Colbert suggested she was given the boot from NBC News at Lauer’s hand: “I do [have a non-disclosure agreement], but I can talk. I’m bold. I don’t want to cause pain, you guys.”
Colbert then shifted to examples of the viral “Somewhere Ann Curry” tweets that suggested Curry was quietly celebrating Lauer’s downfall by “having a nice bowl of Frosted Karma Flakes.”
“The truth is that I was raised Catholic by a Buddhist. So think about the Catholic guilt, mixed with the karma, worries, the intensity of that,” Curry explained. “It was like all of the sudden my brain – think Game of Thrones – the wall, it went up. There was this whole wall of, ‘Uh-uh, you can’t talk like that. You can’t think like that.’ So I didn’t, actually, get to enjoy it.”
“But isn’t this his karma?” Colbert asked.
“Well, that’s a good point, but.. and also you have to think about the pain. You know, a lot of people have suffered,” Curry said, referring to his several accusers. “So I haven’t had a chance to celebrate for a lot of reasons.”
When Curry left the Today show in 2012, rumors claimed she and then-cohost Lauer had a lack of chemistry. Insiders said Lauer worked to push his female cohost from her position, then he took her role to forward his career.
Colbert questioned whether a female journalist put in the same position today would have a different outcome than Curry, but she said the problem is far from solved.
“I think that we’re not really done fixing the problem. We are a long way from fixing the problem,” she explained. “It’s more than a conversation. It’s about action and it’s about not just telling people they can’t do certain things. It’s about changing the dynamic, the power balance within companies so that women are not seen as people who could never rise to the top. Once we figure that out, we might have a chance to figure this out.”
Following Lauer’s termination from Today in November, cohost Savannah Guthrie held her position and broadcaster Hoda Kotb stepped in for the interim.
Ratings skyrocketed for NBC in the weeks that followed the announcement of Lauer’s firing, sending Today ahead of rival Good Morning America in total viewership. In January, Kotb was named as Lauer’s permanent replacement, marking the first time in history two females have led Today.
Curry is also jumping back into broadcast journalism in 2018. Her new show We’ll Meet Again will explore some of history’s biggest events, told by people who experienced them. The six-part series premieres Tuesday on PBS.