NEW YORK (NBC News) — Longtime Today Show host Matt Lauer has been terminated after an employee filed a complaint about “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.”
Lauer’s firing was announced early Wednesday morning by NBC News Chairman Andy Lack.
In a memo to NBC employees, Lack said the decision to fire Lauer was made after an employee filed the complaint.
Lack went on to say that while it was the first complaint lodged against Lauer in his career at the network, the company was “presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
Lauer’s one time co-host Savannah Guthrie made the announcement at the top of the Today Show, where Lauer has been an anchor for two decades.
Guthrie said she was informed just moments before going on the air.
On Wednesday afternoon, a few hours after Lauer’s ouster was announced, Variety published an article that depicted Lauer as a serial harasser of women who worked on “Today,” preying on many of the female producers who worked for him.
The accusers in the article were anonymous, and their accounts have not been confirmed by NBC News.
Those who spoke to Variety accused him of exposing himself to one woman and then reprimanding her for not engaging in a sex act.
He was also accused of giving another colleague a sex toy as a present along with “an explicit note about how he wanted to use it on her.”
The article said the women complained to management, but the complaints fell on deaf ears given the lucrative advertising surrounding “Today.”
A spokesperson for NBC forcefully denied that anyone who is now in management was made aware of these complaints.