Female Staffers Reportedly Ignored at 'Today' If They Didn't 'Flirt' With Matt Lauer
Matt Lauer was fired from NBC on Wednesday after the network received a complaint alleging [...]
Matt Lauer was fired from NBC on Wednesday after the network received a complaint alleging inappropriate sexual behavior by the Today show anchor, and since the announcement, more allegations have emerged against Lauer, including a source who told PEOPLE that female staffers who did not flirt with the anchor were "marginalized."
"What people need to understand is that there is a flip side to Matt-the-serial-adulterer persona, and that's all the women he didn't hook up with — and they didn't always fare so well," the source explained. "So if you were a woman who didn't seem just utterly charmed by him, or who wasn't interested in flirting with him, then you were useless to him, and worse, you'd get a target on your back. Period."
The insider continued, "If you didn't bat your eyelashes and giggle and banter and play along, then sooner or later you'd get the criticism that you didn't appear to be supportive of him, that you didn't have his back, that you weren't being a proper colleague to him. But that was almost the best case scenario, because that could ostensibly be fixed: you could just decide to kiss up and go along to get along."
In the statement from NBC News Chairman Andy Lack announcing Lauer's firing, Lack stated that the network was given reason to believe "this may not have been an isolated incident."
The source added that women who Lauer wasn't interested in were just as maligned as those who weren't interested in him.
"Here's what was worse: if he flat-out wasn't interested in you? Then you might as well have been invisible," the source added. "For the most part, women served no purpose for him unless he was attracted to them. So if he wasn't hot for you, it was only a matter of time before you'd become more and more marginalized. You were damned if you did and damned if you didn't."
Photo Credit: NBC / Zach Pagano, NBC