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NBC Fires Matt Lauer

Temp 2Another media star has fallen after reports of sexual harassment. NBC fired Matt Lauer after one complaint, but the company mentioned more were likely—and they have come.

Several women tell about Lauer's inappropriate attention, advances, and exposure. He played what Variety called a "crass quiz" at work that categorized women.  

Lauer worked for NBC since 1994, mostly as a "Today" show co-host. Known as "the crown jewel of the network’s news division," Lauer interviewed U.S. presidents and other senior leaders and celebrities throughout this career.

On air, Savannah Guthrie, Lauer's co-host on the show, read a statement from NBC Chairman Andy Lack. She was emotional as she read the decision.

Lauer issued this apology statement

"There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC.

"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.

"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."

Discussion:

  • How well does Guthrie handle the announcement?
  • Did NBC do the right thing in terminating Lauer? Was it too much of a risk after just one complaint?
  • Assess Lauer's apology. How convincing do you find the statement? What else, if anything, could he say?