Hollywood Scandals 2017: Matt Lauer, Vet of NBC Morning Show, Fired

NBC Universal said it fired morning-show vet Matt Lauer, citing “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace,” setting up potential chaos at its “Today” A.M. franchise.

NBC had in 2016 negotiated a new deal with Lauer, estimated at $20 million, to keep him on the air through 2018.

In a memo to staffers, NBC News Chair Andrew Lack said executives on Monday night “received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment. While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”

Lauer has been a fixture on “Today” for two decades. He first joined as a news reader in 1994 before becoming the show’s co-anchor in 1998.

He has worked alongside morning-TV fixtures including Katie Couric, Meredith Vieira, Ann Curry, and most recently, Savannah Guthrie.

Lauer is the latest prominent figure to fall as our culture places more emphasis on the injustice of acts of sexual harassment by prominent public figures, including movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and former Fox News Channel anchor Bill O’Reilly.