NBC fires morning show star Matt Lauer over 'inappropriate sexual behavior'
AP Photo/Richard Drew, File
American television broadcasters NBC have fired star morning show host Matt Lauer after a colleague filed a complaint against him alleging "inappropriate sexual behavior," with the channel stating they were given reason to believe "this may not have been an isolated incident."
News of Lauer's firing was announced by his 'Today' show co-host Savannah Guthrie who read on air a statement issued by NBC News chairman Andy Lack.
"Dear colleges, on Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer," Lack's statement read. "It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company's standards. As a result, we've decided to terminate his employment."
Matt Lauer has been terminated from NBC News. On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment. pic.twitter.com/1A3UAZpvPb— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 29, 2017
The statement said that while it was the first complaint lodged against Lauer in his 20-year career at NBC news, the channel had also been presented "with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident."
US President Donald Trump immediately tweeted his shock at Lauer's firing, while also cryptically hinting at misdeeds in Lack's own past.
It was not immediately clear if the President was suggesting that Lack himself has a history of alleged sexual misconduct, as he called on "the top executives at NBC & Comcast" to be "fired for putting out so much Fake News."
In a second tweet, Trump called for MSNBC president to be fired and for an investigation to be opened into the network's own morning show host Joe Scarborough over what he called an "unsolved mystery in Florida".
Trump was referring to the death of a 28-year-old-intern whose body was found in Scarborough's office in 2001 when he served as a Florida congressman. Both police and medical examiners say the intern had suffered heart problems which caused her to collapse and fatally hit her head on a desk, adding that there was no evidence of any foul play.
Wow, Matt Lauer was just fired from NBC for “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.” But when will the top executives at NBC & Comcast be fired for putting out so much Fake News. Check out Andy Lack’s past!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2017
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2017
Lauer's firing comes as the US grapples with an avalanche of sexual assault and harassment scandals rocking the worlds of entertainment, business and politics, and sparked by myriad allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Earlier in November, Charlie Rose -- one of America's most well-respected television news anchors and an award-winning broadcaster -- was sacked by several networks following allegations of sexual misconduct in a stunning blow for the 75-year-old fixture in US television news.
More than 100 women have come forward since October to accuse disgraced Hollywood mogul Weinstein of various degrees of bullying, degrading behavior over the past 40 years, from intimidation to rape.
Sex scandals have also brought down power players like two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey, comedian Louis C.K., and producer Brett Ratner.
More to follow.
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