With a heavy heart and a distraught face, Today show's Savannah Guthrie announced that her co-host and beloved colleague, Matt Lauer, has been fired. Lauer, who was one the highest-paid anchors on NBC, was let go on Wednesday, Nov. 29. over "inappropriate sexual behavior."
In a memo, NBC News Chairman Andy Lack expressed that they "received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer." As a result, they terminated his employment because the company's highest priority is to create a safe work environment for its employees. "We are deeply saddened by this turn of events," Lack wrote. "But we will face it together as a news organization — and do it in as transparent a manner as we can."
Although this was the first complaint the company received over Lauer's alleged sexual misconduct, The New York Times reports that by Thursday, NBC had received at least two more complaints from former staff members who had similar interactions with Lauer.
On Thursday, the 59-year-old TV journalist worked for the company for over 20 years, broke his silence.
In a statement released by NBC News, he expressed the following:
"There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC. Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly. Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I'm committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full-time job. The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my own troubling flaws. It's been humbling. I am blessed to be surrounded by the people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace."
If you, or someone you know, is dealing with sexual harassment, don't stay quiet! For national hotlines and resources, click here.
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