US breakfast show host Matt Lauer was sensationally fired from NBC’s TODAY this week for alleged sexual harassment. And as has become a recent pattern, the internet spent today looking for hints and signs we all missed that the TV personality was actually a creep.
They didn’t have to look long or hard before a 2012 interview with Lauer and actor Anne Hathaway surfaced. And trust us, this one is not a long bow to draw.
The interview was creepy at the time, but Lauer’s sacking from the network after it received a “detailed complaint” of “inappropriate sexual behaviour in the workplace” this week really puts it into perspective.
Days before the interview at the premiere of Les Miserables, photographers had snapped and sold upskirt images of Hathaway stepping out of a car, which Lauer crudely describes as a "wardrobe malfunction".
Not only does he bring it up in an accusatory manner, but it's also the very first thing he says to her, opening the interview with:"Good morning. Nice to see you. Seen a lot of you lately."
Yep, he really said that.
"Let’s just get it out of the way," Lauer continues.
"You had a little wardrobe malfunction the other night. What’s the lesson learned from something like that — other than that you keep smiling, which you always do?"
Not about to be blamed for stepping out of a car and being upskirted by a photographer, Hathaway has the perfect response.
Listen: The latest alleged creep to be exposed was Don Burke. The Out Loud ladies talk all about it in this bonus episode.
"Well, it was obviously an unfortunate incident. It kind of made me sad on two accounts," she says.
"One was that I was very sad that we live in an age when someone takes a picture of another person in a vulnerable moment and rather than delete it, and do the decent thing, sells it.
"And I’m sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants, which takes us back to Les Mis, because that’s what my character is."
Lauer laughs that she's responded on "creative terms", but tells her, "I'm gonna take it at that. That's fine."
Twitter users sharing and speaking about the clip have labelled it "sleazy" and "slut-shaming", with some pointing out later in the interview he also comments on her weight loss for the role in an inappropriate way.
On Wednesday morning US time, TODAY US host Savannah Guthrie had to tell the world Lauer, her co-host, had been fired from NBC.
Visibly distressed, Guthrie read from a statement issued by the chairman of NBC News Andrew Lack, addressing the allegations made against Matt Lauer. She herself had only become aware of moments beforehand.
"On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behaviour in the workplace by Matt Lauer. It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment," the statement read.
"Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender."
It is believed more allegations against the 59-year-old will be made public in the coming days.