by SARAH VISCONTI
The issue of sexual harassment in the workplace has hit yet another network. Yesterday morning, NBC News announced that Today Show host Matt Lauer was fired due to reports of “inappropriate sexual behavior” from an employee while covering the Winter Olympics in 2014 in Russia.
Andrew Lack, president of NBC News commented on the topic in a staff memo saying, “On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer.” He later said that the allegations were a clear violation of the company’s standards and, as a result, Lack decided to terminate him.
Many of Lauer’s colleagues were shocked by the news. Savannah Guthrie, Lauer’s co-host, appeared deeply saddened and on the verge of tears when reporting the news on the Today Show . She said, “All we can say is we are heartbroken; I’m heartbroken.” Guthrie reflected on their friendship afterwards by describing Lauer as a dear friend and said she is “heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story.”
Not only did his colleagues have something to say about the topic, but President Donald Trump chimed in as well. Trump tweeted, “So now that Matt Lauer is gone when will the Fake News practitioners at NBC be terminating the contract of Phil Griffin? And will they terminate low ratings Joe Scarborough based on the “unsolved mystery” that took place in Florida years ago? Investigate!” President Trump has had feuds with both Scarborough and Griffin in the past. In regards to Scarborough and the “unsolved mystery”, Trump is referring to the the death of one of his interns in 2001. However, the mystery was not deemed “unsolved” and there was no evidence connecting Scarborough to the death.
Unfortunately, in today’s world, the Matt Lauer news isn’t shocking. Over the past year, scores of entertainers and news personalities have been accused of similar allegations as well. This case is just another example of how behavior in the workplace must be monitored and altered.