Matt Lauer Accused of Sexual Harassment, Indecent Exposure and More
Matt Lauer’s dismissal from Today was a sign of harassment allegations to come, and the storm has officially hit. A new report details Lauer’s history of exposing himself to women, making sexualized and demeaning comments among the staff, and even installing a bizarre lock system in his office.
Variety dropped the full report of its two-month investigation, hours after NBC moved to head off the scandal. According to dozens of interviews with current and former staffers, and stories corroborated by friends and co-workers, the former Today host has a history of inappropriate behavior, ranging from gift sex toys and explicit advances to asking male and female producers about their sexual histories, and even exposing himself to women in private.
One particularly heinous detail of the report notes that Lauer had a desk-controlled locking mechanism for his office, so as to avoid anyone walking in on his advances toward women. One former producer ascribed the office behavior to Lauer’s squeaky-clean media image as a married man:
There were a lot of consensual relationships, but that’s still a problem because of the power he held. He couldn’t sleep around town with celebrities or on the road with random people, because he’s Matt Lauer and he’s married. So he’d have to do it within his stable, where he exerted power, and he knew people wouldn’t ever complain.
The story also notes that NBC executives routinely ignored complaints, given Today’s position in the ratings and Lauer’s role in that success. Lauer also reportedly used his editorial clout to dismiss stories about cheating husbands, but became notably hypocritical in reporting such recent assault scandals as those of Harvey Weinstein, Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly. For the moment, it remains unclear if NBC will pay the anchor through the remainder of his 2018 contract, even after the firing.
You can watch the Today staff announcing Lauer’s dismissal from the series below, and stay tuned for further details on the allegations.
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