By Dylan Botelho, Staff Writer
Matt Lauer was fired from NBC News on Wednesday morning after an employee filed a complaint of “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace,” according to the network.
The announcement was made by Savannah Guthrie to kick off Wednesday’s Today Show. Guthrie clearly looked stunned and gutted by the firing of her partner. “We are heartbroken, I am heartbroken for Matt, and I am heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story.”
Lauer was one of the cornerstone pieces of the Today Show for over the last decade, and was a central figure in news entertainment for the last decade.
The claims made against Lauer were a first. As Andrew Lack, chairman of NBC News stated in his press release after the firing, the company was “presented with reason to believe that this may not have been an isolated incident.”
Lauer released a statement the following day that was featured on the Today Show, saying “There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry…”
Lauer, just like everyone else who has been uncovered as a sexual predator in the entertainment business over the last few months said, he is “fully committed” to repairing the damage and fixing the issues.
Issues, however, that shouldn’t have been made in the first place. That isn’t an honest apology. There is no honest apology when it comes to sexual harassment like those accused like Lauer and so many others. It just shouldn’t happen. That apology is a, “wait what about my $28 million salary” apology.
Whether you watch the Today Show and other programs that featured Lauer or not, you knew who he was.
It was shocking to see he had been fired from the Today Show waking up Wednesday morning, but ultimately not very surprising when you consider the rate at which these new allegations have stemmed.
Thankfully,many people have come out with their stories of being sexually harassed or abused in the entertainment business. These horrific events aren’t kept under wraps anymore, likely in fear of being blackballed for the rest of their career.
Since the firing, more people have come out and spoke against Lauer. According to NBC News’s Stephanie Gosk, there may be as many as eight victims and several of those accusers told Variety that “they complained to executives at the network about Lauer’s behavior, which fell on deaf ears.”
It’s impossible to ever look at Lauer the same. Now you know who he really is, not the act played in front of the camera. The creep in him came out even further though when the details of certain incidents are described.
In one case, Lauer allegedly gave a female coworker a sex toy along with a note explaining how he’d use it on her.
In another incident, Lauer allegedly invited one of his female employees into his office, showing her his penis.
The creepiest though, may be the lock on Lauer’s office door. Apparently, Lauer had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock the door from within without even getting up.
He allegedly used it to lock women in his office and prevent others from walking in. It honestly sounds like something out of a horror movie, to get locked from within by a sexual predator like Lauer.
With all these details, it’s no wonder Lack believed it to be a recurring issue.
Unfortunately, there’s no doubt he was likely protected for years from these allegations by higher ups at NBC, until someone was finally brave enough to speak up against him. If you’ve noticed a trend, it’s that powerful men attempt to exert their power on unsuspecting people.
At this point, I wouldn’t be shocked by sexual harassment allegations on anyone in Hollywood and anyone in other areas of entertainment. But hopefully, this will evenutally come to an end.