After NBC announced Lauer’s firing, CBS This Morning contributor Bianna Golodryga said it was “deja vu all over again,” referring to former co-host Charlie Rose’s demise last week. CBS terminated Rose after he was accused by several women of sexual misconduct.
Golodryga told viewers that Lauer was the “longest-running host on the longest-running morning show on network TV. But he’s now off the air and out of a job because of how he allegedly acted when the cameras were off.”
She was joined at the table by CBS This Morning regulars Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King, as well as Vladimir Duthiers, who each expressed their thoughts on the situation.
"Our thoughts are with Savannah [Guthrie] and our colleagues over at NBC, and they're with the women who had to endure all of this," Golodryga said. Prior to the Lauer scandal, the employees of CBS were the ones dealing with a parallel fallout.
"Think about these young women who looked up to these towering media figures and were in some cases heartbroken and humiliated by these people that they admired and they felt trapped in these situations," Duthiers added of both broadcasters’ accusers.
O’Donnell, a former employee of NBC News, said she was saddened for the women inside and outside of the journalism industry who have sacrificed their jobs to feel safe. She also called for action.
“I mentioned this last week, women will not achieve full equality in the workplace until there’s a reckoning and taking of responsibility,” she said. “The point is that many women have left journalism because of treatment like this.”
“That’s the story I keep hearing over and over again, and that’s true in many other fields. That’s the painful this is that good, good people have left professions and wanted to stay in them.”
Though reports claim NBC knew of allegations against Lauer, the network maintains that “prior to Monday night, current NBC News management was never made aware of any complaints.”
A single complaint was filed alleging “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace” against the 20-year veteran host on Monday evening; he was terminated Tuesday night.
For CBS, a report detailing eight women’s allegations of sexual coersion and harassment went public one day before the network terminated his position.
Network president David Rhodes said on Nov. 21 that despite Rose's "important important journalistic contribution to CBS, there is absolutely nothing more important, in this or any organization, than ensuring a safe, professional workplace — a supportive environment where people feel they can do their best work. We need to be such a place."
NBC Chairman Andy Lack echoed that sentiment in his statement following Lauer’s termination: “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.”