In November 2017, Matt Lauer was fired from NBC for inappropriate behavior after being accused of sexual harassment in the workplace. Prior to his exit, Lauer co-anchored the Today Show alongside Savannah Guthrie, and after he was fired, his spot was filled by Hoda Kotb, who also hosts the show's fourth hour with Kathie Lee Gifford.
On Tuesday, March 12, Kotb appeared on The Wendy Williams Show, with Williams asking Kotb whether she was still friends with Lauer after all that had happened.
"Are you still his friend?" Williams asked, with Kotb replying "Yes," after taking a pause.
Kotb told The Hollywood Reporter last year that she and her co-workers are still in touch with Lauer.
"We keep in touch with him. I mean, look, this is one of those complex situations," she said. "I've known him since I started working at NBC. When I was sick with breast cancer, he was the first to call. He helps and helped in ways that... you know, he was incredible in that way. There is that Matt and then there's the Matt that the accusers speak of. And those accusers' voices matter and that story matters."
"It's still tough, right?" she asked Guthrie, who replied, "Yes."
When Lauer was fired, Kotb and Guthrie sat together as Guthrie read the statement from NBC News Chairman Andy Lack announcing Lauer's exit.
After Guthrie revealed the news, she shared that it was difficult for her to reconcile the Lauer she knew with the allegations against him.
"We are grappling with a dilemma that so many people have faced these weeks," Guthrie said. "How do you reconcile your love for someone with the recognition that they have behaved badly. And I don't know the answer to that. But I know this reckoning that so many organizations have been going through is important. It's long overdue. And it must result in workplaces where all women, all people, feel safe and respected. As painful as it is this moment in our culture, and this change, had to happen."
Kotb added, "This is a very tough morning for both of us. I've known Matt for 15 years and I've loved him as a friend and a colleague."
Kotb will soon find herself in a new position again when Gifford leaves Today in April. The longtime host will be replaced by Jenna Bush Hager, who will helm the show's fourth hour alongside Kotb.
Photo Credit: Getty / Patrick McMullan