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
The alleged incident that got Matt Lauer fired from Today reportedly happened at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia in 2014. Page Six first reported the incident and Variety confirmed the news on Wednesday.
The woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous, went to NBC's Human Resources and Legal Departments on Monday to report the incident, according to a statement from her attorney, Ari Wilkenfeld. NBC News Chairman Andy Lack reportedly made the decision to fire Lauer on Tuesday night, and Lauer's exit was officially announced early Wednesday morning.
According to Variety, there are multiple other allegations from unnamed women of sexually inappropriate behavior from Lauer. One said Lauer once gave a colleague a sex toy as a present, including an explicit note detailing how he wanted to use it on her. Another report alleges he asked a different female employee into his office, at which point he dropped his pants and showed her his penis. When the employee declined to do anything of a sexual nature, he scolded her for not engaging in a sexual act.
Other allegations include quizzing female reporters about who they'd slept with, playing "f***, marry, kill," using his female co-anchors as the subjects of the game and a button under his desk that would lock his office door so no one could walk in on him. However, it should be noted that contraption isn't unique to Lauer, and other NBC execs also have one.
Lack, in a statement read by Savannah Guthrie on Today, said that Lauer had had no prior complaints filed against him in the more than 20 years he'd been employed by NBC News, but that NBC had been "presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident." In a 2012 interview that resurfaced on Wednesday, Lauer's former Today co-anchor Katie Couric said that he used to often pinch her butt during their 15 years working together. Couric's tone in the interview was light, but her description of Lauer's behavior does indicate a lack of appropriate boundaries regarding workplace conduct.
Lauer is the latest in a long string of powerful men who have lost their jobs due to sexual misconduct allegations in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, and the second morning show host in as many weeks after Charlie Rose was let go from CBS This Morning after it came out that he had sexually harassed female employees.