'Top Chef' Host Reveals What It Was Like at 30 Rock After Matt Lauer Firing

Matt Lauer was fired from NBC on Wednesday after the network received a complaint alleging inappropriate sexual behavior by the Today show anchor, and it's clear the news affected a huge number of people connected with the network.

Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi took to Instagram after the announcement was made, sharing that she was on her way to do a cooking segment with Lauer on the show when she heard the news. Lakshmi wrote that she was "in shock" and "utterly shaken up" as she watched co-anchor Savannah Guthrie read the statement from NBC News Chairman Andy Lack announcing Lauer's firing.

“I must say that in all the many years I have been on the @TodayShow I have only experienced a warm, cordial and respectful environment. When I walked into 30 Rock it felt like someone had died,” Lakshmi wrote. “The mood was somber to say the least, shell shocked would be more accurate. Like finding out your dad has been cheating on your mom and the happy family you thought you were living in is in fact broken.”

She continued, "I must say that in all the years I have known Matt, and worked with him on the Today show, I have never found him to be anything but empathic, kind, totally appropriate, and respectful of me; a consummate professional."

Lakshmi also discussed her experience as a victim of sexual assault and sexual harassment, acknowledging how difficult it must have been for Lauer's accusers to come forward.

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"I am deeply saddened about Matt as I am saddened about @CharlieRose, two people I have very much looked up to in television," she concluded. "Their presence and contributions to our industry will be sorely missed. But I stand in solidarity with the victims. And while this is a painful period in our cultural history, it is a good and necessary purging of one of the most harmful aspects of the ‘old boys club’. There is always pain when the thorn gets pulled out of the flesh. But only when it’s gone can the healing begin. #MeToo."

This morning I woke up expecting to do a cooking segment on the Today show with my friend @MattLauerNBC. Driving uptown I was in shock as I heard the news of his dismissal due to allegations of sexual misconduct at work. As I watched @SavannahGuthrie read Andy Lack’s statement, I was utterly shaken up. I must say that in all the many years I have been on the @TodayShow I have only experienced a warm, cordial and respectful environment. When I walked into 30 Rock it felt like someone had died. The mood was somber to say the least, shell shocked would be more accurate. Like finding out your dad has been cheating on your mom and the happy family you thought you were living in is in fact broken. I must say that in all the years I have known Matt, and worked with him on the Today show, I have never found him to be anything but empathic, kind, totally appropriate, and respectful of me; a consummate professional. But as someone who has experienced sexual assault and sexual harassment I know how hard it is to come forward or even properly process that it is indeed happening to you. Especially when it’s someone who holds such a high place in one’s profession. I don’t know who the women who have come forward are but I can tell you how hard it is to even admit that it’s actually happened. You feel utterly intimidated and often blame yourself. There is little upside for a victim speaking out. And as a victim myself I am thankful they did. I am deeply saddened about Matt as I am saddened about @CharlieRose, two people I have very much looked up to in television. Their presence and contributions to our industry will be sorely missed. But I stand in solidarity with the victims. And while this is a painful period in our cultural history, it is a good and necessary purging of one of the most harmful aspects of the ‘old boys club’. There is always pain when the thorn gets pulled out of the flesh. But only when it’s gone can the healing begin. #MeToo

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