NBC has fired longtime “Today” host Matt Lauer following allegations of workplace misconduct, the network announced on Wednesday.
“We are devastated,” “Today” co-host Savannah Guthrie said in an emotional statement. “All we can say is we are heartbroken.”
Guthrie said that NBC News chairman Andy Lack informed employees early Wednesday about the decision after having received a complaint about Lauer’s behavior on Monday night. She read Lack’s note on-air, noting that while the network says it had never received a complaint about Lauer before, it has “reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
NBC didn’t elaborate on the allegations, but the New York Post’s Page Six cited anonymous sources who said that Lauer assaulted a staffer at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. An earlier version of Page Six’s story said the incident took place during the 2016 Rio Olympics, which was later amended.
Both Guthrie and co-host Hoda Kotb appeared shaken by the news.
“We are grappling with a dilemma that so many people have faced these weeks,” Guthrie said. “How do you reconcile your love for someone with the recognition that they have behaved badly? And I don’t know the answer to that.”
“This is a very tough morning for both of us,” Kotb said. “I’ve known Matt for 15 years and I’ve loved him as a friend and a colleague, and just like you were saying, Savannah, it’s hard to reconcile what we are hearing with the man who we know, who walks in this building every, single day.”
President Donald Trump, who has been accused by more than a dozen women of sexual misconduct, quickly reacted:
Lauer’s departure follows a torrent of sexual harassment and assault allegations against prominent male media figures, including Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, veteran broadcaster Charlie Rose, and prominent political journalist Mark Halperin. The revelations have resulted in broad action, with Weinstein fired from his namesake firm and booted out of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and Rose being fired by CBS and PBS. NBC fired Halperin, who was a frequent guest on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
This article has been updated to reflect the New York Post’s changes to its reporting.
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