Immediately following the shocking development of NBC firing Matt Lauer for inappropriate sexual behavior, news outlets were once again put in the position of reacting to said behavior by one of their own colleagues shortly after the news dropped. Megyn Kelly, who recently popped over to NBC from Fox News, bypassed the introduction of her TODAY hour and immediately addressed the subject. Clearly emotional, she spoke of how this story hits “close to home,” but she ultimately sees Lauer’s dismissal as a necessary step amid the ongoing wave of sexual harassment allegations against many men in power:
“We are in the middle of a sea change in this country. An empowerment revolution, in which women, who for years felt they had no choice but to deal with being harassed at work, are now starting to picture another reality. To feel that change is within their grasp. As painful as this moment is, for so many here at NBC, today, at CBS earlier this month, at Fox News over the last year, in Hollywood this fall, it is a sign of progress, of women finding their voices, their courage and of the erosion of a shameful power imbalance that has been in place for far too long.”
Kelly also paid lip service to how Lauer supported her while she made her network transition this year. However, she stressed that what is most important now is to think of those women who have come forward. She wants everyone to realize that women often lose career opportunities due to sexual harassment and sexual assault in the workplace. Kelly also stressed that this process causes enormous stress for the accusers, who often face untold repercussions for bringing the allegations. And she segued to her time at Fox News:
“I have been at another news channel where this happened, as you know. In my experiences, a news organization is bigger than any one person. They all face challeges, they all stumble, but the good ones will stay standing and forge forward, fulfilling their core mission — journalism.”
Kelly, of course, came forward with her own allegations against Roger Ailes shortly before he was ousted by Fox News after many women accused him of sexual harassment. Lauer’s firing will certainly bring much more fallout, and we’ll monitor the story closely for any relevant updates.