NBC Sacks Today Host Matt Lauer Over 'Sexual Behaviour'
NBC News has fired popular Today show host Matt Lauer after receiving a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behaviour in the workplace, the network says.
"On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behaviour in the workplace by Matt Lauer," NBC News chairman Andrew Lack said in a statement on Wednesday.
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
"It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company's standards. As a result, we've decided to terminate his employment."
"While it is the first complaint about his behaviour in the over twenty years he's been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident," the statement said.
Lauer's agent Ken Lindner did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Reuters was unable to independently confirm the accusation against Lauer.
The news was announced on television by fellow Today co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb at the start of the talk show, a staple of US morning television for more than six decades.
"This is a sad morning at Today and at NBC News," Guthrie said, visibly shaken.
"We just learned this moments ago just this morning. As I'm sure you can imagine we are devastated."
Lack's statement did not identify the colleague who made the accusation.
President Donald Trump tweeted shortly after the news was announced:
"Wow, Matt Lauer was just fired from NBC for 'inappropriate sexual behaviour in the workplace.'"
"But when will the top executives at NBC & Comcast be fired for putting out so much Fake News. Check out Andy Lack's past!" he added, without further explanation.
Wow, Matt Lauer was just fired from NBC for “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.” But when will the top executives at NBC & Comcast be fired for putting out so much Fake News. Check out Andy Lack’s past!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2017
So now that Matt Lauer is gone when will the Fake News practitioners at NBC be terminating the contract of Phil Griffin? And will they terminate low ratings Joe Scarborough based on the “unsolved mystery” that took place in Florida years ago? Investigate!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2017
During the 2016 presidential campaign, then-Republican candidate Trump was accused by 13 women who publicly said that in the past he had physically touched them inappropriately in some way, the Washington Post reported.