NBC News chairman Andy Lack sent a memo out to the staff saying, “While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over 20 years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
Co-host Savannah Guthrie announced Lauer’s termination on air Wednesday morning telling viewers, “All we can say is that we are heartbroken. I’m heartbroken for Matt — he is my dear, dear friend and my partner. And he is beloved by many many people here. And I’m heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story, and any other women who have their own stories to tell.”
Below are a few red flags that have resurfaced since a female colleague accused Lauer of misconduct.
Katie Couric on “Watch What Happens Live!”
In 2012, Andy Cohen asked the former “Today” show host about Lauer’s most annoying habit during their 15 years working together. She responded, “He pinches me on the a– a lot.”
In a 2012 “Today” show segment, Lauer played a victim of sexual harassment. The satirical sketch showed Willie Geist smacking Lauer on the butt. In the video, Lauer was upset that Geist denied the claims and didn’t apologize. “If you do it, own up to it,” Lauer said. After the clip rolled, Al Roker asked upcoming guest Dustin Hoffman to weigh in on the case.
Matt Lauer on “The Meredith Vieira Show”
Lauer’s former co-host Meredith Vieira once asked him on her show about “a huge bag of sex toys” she found in his office closet. During a 2016 episode of “The Meredith Vieira Show,” the host says, “I went into your office once snooping, and you had a huge bag of sex toys in your office closet.” Lauer had an explanation, though. “Can we explain what happened?” he asked. “You were there. We had a guest on the show. She was a sex therapist. And when she left — and you did the segment, actually — she gave each of us a shopping bag of stuff.” Vieira insisted that she didn’t host the segment or receive the same bag of toys. Fast forward to present day, a former colleague told Variety that Lauer once gave her a sex toy with an explicit note about how he wanted to use it on her.
“Today” The Musical
Midway through the almost 15-minute musical performance starring the cast and crew of “Today,” Lauer took off his pants to iron them just as four female employees came into the room. He turns to them and says,” Drink it in, ladies.” They shot back saying, “Again, Matt?” “Really?” “It’s the third time this week!” “Did your mommy give you those?” “Stop it! You’re making me lactate.” As they leave, he responds, “Get it while it lasts.”
Anne Hathaway Interview
Hathaway sat down with Lauer for an interview in 2012, where he opened saying, “Seen a lot of you lately,” referring to an incident involving a paparazzi taking an exploitative photo up her skirt. She responded saying, “I’m sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants, which takes us back to ‘Les Mis,’ because that’s what my character is.”
Kelly Clarkson Segment
Lauer introduced Kelly Clarkson, who was 23 at the time, saying the singer had a “new sound” and “hot new look, as well.” Clarkson asked, “I have a hot new look? That’s exciting,” to which he replied, “Well, I’m back from vacation and you got my attention, I’ll tell you that.”