Fans of the Today show were blindsided when hosts Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie announced Matt Lauer’s firing amid allegations of sexual harassment. While NBC ultimately decided to cut ties with Lauer due to his inappropriate actions, Guthrie and Kotb haven’t turned their backs on Lauer and are reportedly struggling with how to reconcile their friendship with his disgusting behavior.
Why Haven’t Guthrie and Kotb Cut Ties With Lauer?
According to Life & Style, the morning show hosts were shocked when they first learned about Lauer’s sexual misconduct. The two have become very close friends with Lauer over the years and couldn’t believe he was capable of committing such revolting acts.
Although they are sickened whenever they hear a new story about Lauer’s behavior, they have remained in contact with their former co-star, unwilling to give him the cold shoulder just yet. Part of this is because Lauer supported them over the years and they feel like they owe him for a part of their success. Even still, it is difficult for them to understand how a man they considered a good friend could act so inappropriately towards women.
“I’ve known Matt for 15 years. I’ve loved him as a friend and a colleague,” Kotb said shortly after Lauer’s dismissal. “It’s hard to reconcile what we are hearing with the man we know who walks in this building every single day.”
Inside Lauer’s Shocking Scandal
Last month, NBC decided to fire Lauer after several women accused him of sexual harassment. In one account, Lauer had sex with a co-worker after she had passed out inside his office. In another, he sent a fellow worker a sex toy in the mail, telling her how he might use it given the chance. The inappropriate stories involving Lauer continue to surface, making it hard for Guthrie and Kotb to remain friends with the former host.
They are, however, deeply disappointed with Lauer’s actions and cringe whenever they hear another story about his disgusting behavior. Fortunately, Lauer’s ousting from Today might have been exactly what the show needed.
Today Ratings Continue To Rise
According to Hollywood Life, the atmosphere on Today completely changed after NBC fired Lauer. It’s no secret that Lauer’s interview style was sometimes overly aggressive, and fans have responded positively to Kotb and Guthrie’s lighter tone.
In fact, an inside source claims that the two ladies have bonded in the wake of Lauer’s scandal, becoming closer friends than ever before. Although NBC has put a lot of pressure on Kotb and Guthrie to fill Lauer’s shoes, their warm personalities and strong connection have led to the show’s highest ratings in years.
Today even managed to outshine ABC’s top-rated show, Good Morning America, a week after Lauer was terminated. NBC is reportedly still looking for Lauer’s replacement, but, given how well the show has performed the past couple weeks, they might just stick with Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie.
Lauer has not commented on his strained relationship with his former co-hosts. He did, however, release an apology following his termination from the show.