Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb opened Today on Wednesday morning with an emotional announcement that their colleague Matt Lauer had been fired for inappropriate sexual workplace behavior. “Good morning everybody and welcome to Today,” Guthrie started out by saying. “Hoda is with me here this morning because this is a sad morning here at Today and NBC News. Just moments ago, NBC News chairman Andy Lack sent the following note to our organization.”
She then put a note on the screen that read as follows:
Dear colleagues, on Monday night we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. 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 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.
Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender. We are deeply saddened by this turn of events. But we will face it together as a news organization — and do it in as transparent a manner as we can.
Guthrie then reiterated that she and the staff had just learned of Lauer’s firing moments ago. She added that they are all devastated, and “still processing all of this.” She also added that as of now, they don’t know more than what she’s already shared. “I’m heartbroken by Matt, he is my dear, dear friend and my partner, and he has been beloved by many, many people here,” Guthrie continued. “And I’m heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story, and any other women who have their own stories to tell.”
Al Roker joined Guthrie and Kotb shortly after to add his thoughts on Lauer’s termination. “I’m still dealing with the news of our friend of 30 years and we’re all trying to process it,” Roker said. “We’ll deal with it, along with you folks as well.”