Matt Lauer Fired Over Sexual Harassment Allegation

Matt Lauer is the latest to topple. An allegation was made against him Monday Night, and today he is fired.

“While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over 20 years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”

Variety has the raunchy details from the multiple women accusing him of sexual harassment.

These accounts of Lauer’s behavior at NBC are the result of a two-month investigation by Variety, with dozens of interviews with current and former staffers. Variety has talked to three women who identified themselves as victims of sexual harassment by Lauer, and their stories have been corroborated by friends or colleagues that they told at the time. They have asked for now to remain unnamed, fearing professional repercussions.

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    Main point ot me is how so many of these men (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 29, 2017 at 09:51:44 PM EST
    have driven the political news and commentary over the years. Later, Halperin, NPR execs, Rose, too m any to even remember.  Can't tell me the misogyny or at very least disrespect did not seep into the coverage.

    If you saw the CIC forum that Lauer (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Anne on Thu Nov 30, 2017 at 08:22:31 AM EST
    hosted during the 2016 presidential campaign, you saw ample evidence of that misogyny, as well as just overall bad journalism.  Not that it made any difference, but Lauer got raked over some pretty hot coals for how badly he handled that event.

    And to me, this is just further evidence that when someone is perceived to be the face of a franchise that's raking in hundreds of millions of dollars for the network, there are no consequences for any of the bad behavior.

    And that is a powerful thing.  

    What angers me is that it's clear that people knew, and I'm guessing there were a lot of Today Show employees whose jaws dropped at NBC's claim that this was the only complaint ever made about Lauer in the 20 years he'd been there.  Could it be technically correct because no formal complaints were made?  Maybe, but I think that's going to end up biting them in the butt - because the reporting suggests that, just like in Weinstein and Rose and Louis CK, complaints were expressed to producers and others - people who did have the power to do something.

    When things like this are common knowledge, it seems highly disingenuous to hang one's hat on a technicality:

    Behind the scenes, however, the on-set environment could sometimes resemble a boys' club, particularly in the years before Comcast completed its acquisition of NBCUniversal in 2013, according to interviews with more than half a dozen former staff members.

    Jokes about women's appearances were routine, the former employees said. One former producer recalled a director saying he "wanted some milk" in reference to one woman's chest and making inappropriate comments about women over an audio feed with multiple people listening. Two former employees recalled colleagues playing a crude game in which they chose which female guests or staff members they would prefer to marry, kill or have sex with.

    The Times also reported:

    An NBC spokeswoman declined on Wednesday to comment on the "boys' club" characterization, but pointed out that 13 of 19 senior-level female producers at "Today" had been promoted since 2015.

    Is this supposed to mean something?  Because my reaction was, "yeah, and so what?"  

    It just kills me sometimes that management seems to think that stocking the ranks with a diverse group of employees inoculates them from accusations of a variety of bad behaviors and attitudes, when often, the lack of real commitment to a non-hostile work environment only serves to permits the behavior to continue.  

    But you are completely correct that the power accorded these men has allowed them to manipulate and drive political perceptions and understandings - it's all really quite revolting, isn't it?


    I am sure NBC was completely unaware of Lauer's (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by vml68 on Thu Nov 30, 2017 at 09:07:05 AM EST
    Lauer's quasi-apology (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Anne on Thu Nov 30, 2017 at 11:23:21 AM EST
    "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," Lauer said in a statement that was released by a personal publicist and formed the bulk of the top story on "Today" Thursday morning. "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."


    So.  Up until now, he didn't know that what he was doing was wrong?  He had no shame about what he did?  He went home to his wife and his children and was able to look them in the eye and not know that he was disrespecting them and betraying their trust?  What was he teaching his boys - that women are just objects that exist for their fun and enjoyment?  What was he teaching his daughter?

    But now that he's being held accountable by losing his job with the multi-million dollar salary, he's had himself an epiphany?  

    I don't think so.  As with most people who abuse their power, he's probably been deluded into believing that his power extended to being able to sexually harass, humiliate and abuse women in his orbit - like it was a perk of being NBC's prize cash cow.  And if it was wrong, why didn't anyone tell him sooner?

    I guess I am just so over all the phony boo-hooing about their own shame and sorrow, when I think we all know that if not for the reporting that was about to drop, and the complaint finally making its way to the formal stage, he'd still be doing it. and the good folks at NBC would still be pretending it wasn't happening.

    I don't have an iota of sympathy for him, but his children?  I sure hope they grow up not wanting to be just like dear, old Dad.