NBC News has fired “Today” show host Matt Lauer after receiving a “detailed complaint” about “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace” on Monday night. The firing was announced on Wednesday morning at the start of the “Today” show programming.
NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, sitting beside Hoda Kotb, read a statement from NBC News Chairman Andy Lack explaining that while this was only the first complaint against Lauer, there was reason to believe that this was part of a larger pattern of behavior. The two were visibly emotional and appeared to be stunned, and Guthrie said she was “heartbroken” for both Lauer and for her female colleague who reported the behavior. Guthrie said she only learned about Lauer’s termination moments before she read the statement on air. Guthrie pledged to remain transparent throughout the whole process, and to share details about Lauer’s conduct once they became known.
After Guthrie announced the firing, “Matt Lauer,” “Inappropriate sexual behavior” and “#TodayShow” trended on Twitter. President Donald Trump weighed in on the firing, and said that other executives at NBC and Comcast (NBC’s parent company) should be fired for putting out “so much Fake News.”
Lauer had worked on “Today” from 1994 until Wednesday, and was employed as a co-anchor on the show starting in 1998.