On Monday, a female staffer filed a detailed complaint with NBC’s human resources department claiming that the 59-year-old had sexually assaulted her. The evidence in the claim was so convincing that the Today anchor was fired on Tuesday. NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack sent a statement to employees addressing his termination:
“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."
In the following days, those close to the now scandalized anchor expressed their range of emotions on social media.
Support and Strength
Co-host Hoda Kotb had the difficult job of sitting beside Savannah Guthrie as she made the announcement to the Today audience, and the pain she expressed during the announcement and after was palpable.
Kotb waited until Thursday to make her return to social media following the announcement, and she chose to share an inspirational message with her followers.
Happy Thursday xo pic.twitter.com/L5yvJLNcBI— Hoda Kotb (@hodakotb) November 30, 2017
Sharing a Mary Oliver quote, Kotb asked "what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
"You’ve loved someone so much," Kotb said during her 10 a.m. segment with Kathee Lee Gifford. "And then you hear something and you go, ‘Wait, what? How does that make sense?’ You grapple with that in your head, and you try to make sense out of it."
Gifford shared a similar sentiment, revealing that she had texted Lauer the morning following his termination to tell him that she "adores" him and that "nobody is perfect." She later took to Twitter to share Bible quotes.
It is good to give thanks to the LORD, and to sing praises to Your name, O MOST HIGH; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night. Psalm 92:1-2— Kathie Lee Gifford (@KathieLGifford) November 29, 2017
I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power thru His Spirit in your inner being , so that Christ may dwell in your hearts thru faith..& you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.Eph3:16, 19— Kathie Lee Gifford (@KathieLGifford) November 28, 2017
Al Roker was silent in the direct aftermath of his colleague’s termination, waiting until Friday to make a return to social media.
While he didn’t make a comment on Lauer on social media, he did deliver a somber weather report the morning the announcement was made. Before giving the weather report, he admitted that he was "still dealing with the news of a friend of 30 years, and we're all trying to process it.”prevnext
Savannah Guthrie's sadness and heartache over her co-host's termination was visible as she made the announcement, but her first post to social media following the morning broadcast faced criticism.
Coming up. John Conyers’ first accuser live on @TODAYshow— Savannah Guthrie (@SavannahGuthrie) November 30, 2017
Guthrie took to Twitter to announce that the first accuser of Rep. John Conyer would be joining Today for an interview, and many fans believed that during that interview, the host took out her feelings about Lauer on Conyer's accuser.
After reading the statement that NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack had released, Guthrie went on to say "I’m heartbroken for Matt. He is my dear, dear friend and my partner and he has been loved by many, many people here."
Guthrie wasn't the only to face backlash for the way they responded.
"We start this morning with this news: Matt Lauer has been terminated from NBC News." pic.twitter.com/9g5Ou9r2K6— Megyn Kelly TODAY (@MegynTODAY) November 29, 2017
Kelly used the opening minutes of her broadcast to address the accusations made against Lauer, stating that "I’ve known Matt for a long time, and he has been a friend, and kind, and supportive to me in my transition to NBC. And I see the anguish on my colleagues' faces. But when this happens, we don’t see the pain on the faces of those who found the courage to come forward."
Twitter users and other NBC staffers were quick to accuse Kelly of using the moment to bring attention to herself.prevnext
Former NBC Staffers
Those currently working for the network weren't the only ones to comment on the accusations and Lauer's termination.
Former Today anchor Ann Curry responded to the news by telling reporters that "The women’s movement got us into the workplace, but it didn’t make us safe once we got there, and the battle lines are now clear. We need to move this revolution forward and make our workplaces safe. Corporate America is quite clearly failing to do so, and unless it does something to change that, we need to keep doing more ourselves."0comments
Jeff Zucker, the former executive producer of Today, also commented, calling the situation "incredibly heartbreaking."
"There was never a suggestion of that type of deviant, predatory behavior, not even a whisper of it," Zucker added. "Nothing like that. You have to feel for the women who endured this and lived with it and have come forward."prev