On Wednesday morning US time, TODAY US host Savannah Guthrie had to tell the world her co-host had been fired from NBC over allegations of sexually inappropriate behaviour.
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.
Matt Lauer has been terminated from NBC News. On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment. pic.twitter.com/1A3UAZpvPb
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 29, 2017
“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.”
After reassuring Americans the network would continue to report on the allegations against Lauer with transparency, Guthrie expressed the complex range of emotions that come with a dear friend being accused of a despicable act.
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For context – Lauer is much like the Karl Stefanovic or David Koch of American breakfast television.
‘We are heartbroken. I’m heartbroken for Matt – he is my dear, dear friend and my partner, and he has been loved by many, many people here. And I’m heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story, and any other women who have their own stories to tell,” Guthrie told viewers, unable to hide her emotions.