The Today Show‘s Savannah Guthry and Hoda Kotb came on air at 8 a.m. this morning with the news that colleague and friend Matt Lauer was terminated by NBC for “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.”
The women, visibly shaken and teary-eyed, explained what had happened and shared their thoughts.
“How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly and I don’t know the answer to that,” Guthry said. “But I do know that this reckoning, that so many organizations have been going through, is important, it’s long overdue and it must result in workplaces where all women — all people — feel safe and respected.”
Kotb added she’s known Lauer for 15 years, and “it’s hard to reconcile what we are hearing with the man who we know, who walks in this building every single day.”
NBC’s Andrew Lack said in a statement that the complaint made was in clear violation of company policy. He added this was the first complaint lodged against Lauer but there was “reason to believe” it may not have been an isolated incident.
Kathy Lee, co-host of the later show, Today with Kathy Lee and Hoda, chose to share that from this experience and that of the public betrayal by late husband Frank Gifford, that “you question your own judgment you say was everything a lie and I think we have to fight against that…. that the man we know and adore was the man we know and adore and continue to… We don’t need taunts, we don’t need ugliness, we have enough of that in the world. I send out my love to the person whoever it is who came forward, may God heal that person, I send it to Matt and his children and his wife, may God bless that family.”
This news follows last week’s firing of Charlie Rose, which had CBS This Morning co-hosts Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell sitting in front of the camera making a similar statement.