Longtime NBC “Today” host Matt Lauer was fired on Wednesday after a network employee accused him of sexual harassment, CNN reported.
“We are deeply saddened by this turn of events. But we will face it together as a news organization — and do it in as transparent a manner as we can,” stated NBC News chairman Andrew Lack, adding in his memo to the staff that he would meet with them to answer questions.
Lack stated that a colleague submitted a “detailed complaint” on Monday “about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace” by Lauer. The network decided to terminate the host “after a serious review” and determination that the allegations violated NBC’s standards of employee behavior. The network believes it was not an “an isolated incident” in Lauer’s more than 20 years with the network. A high priority for the network is to make all employees feel “safe and protected” and to assure its workers that there will be “consequences” for anyone who violates NBC’s core values. The New York Times had been investigating at least one sexual harassment claim against Lauer, according to CNN.
Lauer’s downfall is the latest in a string of powerful men whose careers and reputations are seriously damaged after being accused of sexual misconduct. The floodgate opened when The New York Times published a report in which multiple women alleged that Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein sexually abused them. Last week, CBS News fired veteran journalist Charlie Rose. Several lawmakers are also under investigation for sexual misconduct, including the longest serving member of Congress John Conyers (D-Mich.).