NBC’s Matt Lauer was fired live on Today and co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb were barely able to hold it together as they announced that Lauer was no longer an NBC employee after a sexual harassment complaint from 2014 surfaced. Guthrie and Kotb conveyed to their Today audience that Lauer was no longer employed by NBC. Fighting back tears, they explained that they had just heard the news themselves. The official line is that Matt Lauer was “let go for inappropriate workplace behavior.”
This is the second time in a bit over a year that the Today show employees had to announce the firing of one of their own live on-air. Last October, Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer announced the Billy Bush suspension during the show. Several days later, NBC informed viewers about the Billy Bush termination live on Today when Al Roker announced that Billy Bush was no longer on Today, and he would no longer be joining Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie on Today.
“As you can see, Billy Bush is not joining us today, as you’re probably aware. Part of that 2005 Access Hollywood taping with Donald Trump that’s been in the news all weekend.”
Billy Bush was fired after it became public that he did not reveal his role in the Access Hollywood tape, in which Donald Trump spoke in a disrespectful manner about women. Bush had just made the transition from Access Hollywood to Today.
Savannah Guthrie read a statement from NBC News president Andrew Lack detailing the Matt Lauer situation.
“On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer.”
Guthrie explained that Matt Lauer’s behavior was a clear violation of NBC policy and company standards, says the New York Times.
“While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over 20 years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
Fighting back tears, Savannah Guthrie explained that she is heartbroken, and the whole cast and crew of Today are heartbroken because it’s hard to understand when people you love do bad things.
Weatherman Al Roker, who has worked with Matt Lauer on Today for years, had little to say, but the disappointment was written on his face.
“I’m still trying to process the news.”
Slate reported that Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb read the statement from Andrew Lack holding hands at the Today desk. Both women seemed to shudder as they also had to add that the NBC management had reason to believe that the current complaint dating back to 2014 wasn’t an isolated incident concerning Matt Lauer and inappropriate behavior.