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Matt Lauer Fired From Today Show for Inappropriate Behavior

Sanika Nayak, World News Editor

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In the wake of the slew of powerful men accused of sexual misconduct, Matt Lauer was fired from the Today Show on the evening of Tuesday, Nov. 28. NBC News Chairman Andy Lack released a statement claiming that they had received a detailed complaint regarding inappropriate behavior in the workplace, and “had reason to believe that it was not an isolated incident.” Due to this, the network decided to terminate Lauer’s employment and release the news themselves as opposed to Lauer being ousted by other media outlets. Fellow Today Show hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb took to the screen Wednesday morning to sadly announce their shock at Lauer’s behavior as well as to express support for the women who came forward.

After declining to comment on Wednesday after news broke, Lauer released an apology statement on Thursday, Nov. 30 saying that “there are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions.” He went on to say that although some of the rumors were false, there was enough truth for his actions to be considered shameful and merit his termination from the show.

After being the face of the Today Show for 20 years, Lauer’s behavior came as a shock to many as he had been widely regarded as a respected journalist.

“Although I was surprised to hear that Matt Lauer was fired, I was really glad that the network responded quickly and that the accusations weren’t questioned as much,” Shreya Nakkala ‘18 said.  

His firing has demonstrated the outcome of the Weinstein effect, by which many powerful men in media have begun to face consequences for their actions. These sexual misconduct allegations have become prominent in hollywood, news media, and American politics, indicting Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, Louis Ck, Kevin Spacey, Al Franken, and  Roy Moore among many others.t

“I think there’s finally finally been a shift from victim-blaming to blaming the perpetrators more,” Nakkala said. “But there still needs to be more done, especially since our own president and candidates like Roy Moore are still not being held accountable for their actions.”

Many hope that the situation with Lauer and other men will initiate a shift in the taboo culture of silencing women and supporting powerful men. Though Lauer had a good reputation with the producers of the show and seemed to be a respectable host, the incident demonstrated how prevalent sexual misconduct is in society today.

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