Matt Lauer was lead anchor of The Today Show from 1997 to 2017 and a contributor for Dateline NBC. He was also previously a news anchor for The Today Show from 1994 to 1997 and anchor for WNBC in New York City.
Lauer is the latest male celebrity in media to be brought down by allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior. Just last week Charlie Rose, formerly of CBS News was fired after a report surfaced chronicling years of alleged sexual misconduct by him.
Lauer expressed “sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused” in a statement on Thursday morning. This was his first public comments after being fired as lead anchor from NBC News Today show.
Lauer went on to state “Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I’m committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full-time job. The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my own troubling flaws. It’s been humbling. I am blessed to be surrounded by the people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace.”
It is important to note Lauer was also quoted saying “Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly.”
Stories published since the news of Lauer being fired from NBC contain additional sexual harassment allegations against Lauer including accounts from three unnamed women. However, some sources are claiming the number could be up to eight.
Perhaps more disturbing are the allegations that NBC News protected Lauer. Several women have been quoted saying “they complained to executives at the network about Lauer’s behavior, which fell on deaf ears given the lucrative advertising generated from the Today show.”
Allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein have set off what seems like an avalanche of reports of misconduct and firings in the media.