It’s been quite the year of scandal for Today show co-anchor Matt Lauer. First he gets blamed for Ann Curry’s quick exit from the co-anchor seat, and now it looks like he has landed himself in hot water after making racist comments during a broadcast for the Today Show.
During his coverage for the London Olympics for Today, the Native American slant was made during a segment about Stella McCartney, when co-host and ex co-anchor Meredith Vieira handed Lauer underwear designed by McCartney.
After Lauer and Vieira joked around about the undergarment, with Matt jabbing at his old co-anchor, “We’re used to this. For five years, Meredith came to the show every morning carrying her underpants.” When Vieira asked Matt Lauer to take the underwear back, Lauer responded by saying: “No, no, no, they’re mine – don’t be an Indian giver.”
The phrase “Indian giver” while a common phrase usually spoken without knowing of its origins, refers to someone who gives a present and then wants it back, which is a reference to Native Americans historical past, and is very offensive to the Native American culture.
Angry viewers took to Twitter to bash Matt Lauer, complaining about his use of the phrase, with one Twitter user tweeting, “Can’t believe people still think this term is acceptable! Kinda shocked.” Other users on Twitter demanded an apology from Matt Lauer and the Today show, while one user of the site wrote to Matt, NBC, and the Today show, tweeting, “U just insulted every native American Shame on U the rest of the NBC @thetodayshow.”
Do you think Matt Lauer should publicly apologize for his comments? View the video of Matt Lauer’s “Indian Giver” comments below.