NBC has fired journalist Matt Lauer. The network said on Wednesday that the dismissal was caused by “inappropriate sexual behavior.” A statement released by NBC chairman, Andy Lack, noted that the network had received a detailed complaint regarding sexual harassment allegations aimed against Lauer. The statement also confirmed that this was the first complaint the network had received against him. However, upon review, the chairman felt that there was reason to believe that this was not a one-time incident.
More details about this issue are still coming out but it wouldn’t be the first time that Lauer has been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior at the workplace. Katie Couric, for example, admitted that she had endured sexual harassment encounters with Lauer. Couric, Lauer’s former co-host in the show “Today” for 15 years, told TMZ back in 2012 that quote “Lauer pinches me in the ass a lot.”
Lack made it clear that any actions by anyone working in the network that go against the company’s values will have consequences. The chairman said that the network felt saddened by these events.
Ari Wilkenfeld, the lawyer who represents the complainant commended NBC for acting quickly. The lawyer confirmed that they met with representatives from NBC’s Human Resources Department for an interview on Monday evening. Wilkenfeld added that they had presented credible evidence to substantiate these allegations.
Lauer has been a big name at NBC since the 1990s. He started out as a reporter covering various stories around the world. He later became the host of “Today,” a popular NBC show for nearly 20 years. He also interviewed both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on the run-up to the hotly contested US election last year.
President Trump reacted sarcastically to the news. In a tweet sent Wednesday morning, the president expressed his dismay on Lauer’s dismissal. He however, took a swipe at NBC calling for the dismissal of top executives for putting out so much “fake news.”
Lauer’s firing is the latest in a string of high profile dismissals in the media and entertainment industry. Mark Helperin, for instance, was fired from a high profile role on TV after he was accused of sexually harassing women during his time at ABC News. Helperin admitted in a CNN interview to pursuing sexual relationships with women he worked with including his juniors.
Charlie Rose was also another high profile media personality who was dismissed due to sexual harassment allegations. Rose was one of the most prominent journalists at CBS and PBS. Rose had been accused by many women for making unwanted sexual advances in the workplace. Until his termination, Rose was the co-host of the CBS morning show “CBS This Morning.”
It’s not clear whether we have seen the last of these incidents. However, as many more women come out and confront their harassers, there might be other high profile dismissals in the near future.