- The “Today” show hosts have vowed to cover the
allegations against their former colleague Matt Lauer “as
journalists” and be transparent with viewers.
- Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, and Kathie Lee Gifford
have said on the show that they are saddened by the allegations
and grappling with how to process the news.
- The “Today” show has since reported on subsequent
allegations made by other Lauer accusers in investigations by
Variety and The New York Times.
NBC’s “Today” show hosts have been open with their emotions in
their coverage of the multiple sexual misconduct allegations
against their former colleague, Matt Lauer, who was fired from
the network on Wednesday.
Co-host Savannah Guthrie first announced Lauer’s firing on the
Wednesday morning show, saying she and her colleagues were
“devastated” by the news, but vowed to cover the story “as
reporters, as journalists” and be transparent with viewers.
“I’m heartbroken for Matt, he is my dear friend and 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,” Guthrie said.
“And we are grappling with a dilemma that so many people have
faced these past few weeks: How do you reconcile your love for
someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly? And I
don’t know the answer to that.”
Kathie Lee Gifford also expressed sorrow for both Lauer and his
accuser in the show’s fourth hour that day. She revealed that she
texted Lauer after the allegations were made public, saying, “I
“What we need now is forgiveness and we need mercy for one
another, and we don’t need taunts and we don’t need ugliness. We
have enough of that in the world,” Gifford said. “I send out my
love right now to the person, whoever it is, that came forward —
may God heal that person.”
Since the initial announcement, the show has followed up on
reports from The New York Times and Variety that have documented
multiple women’s allegations against Lauer, some of which date
New allegations are piling up against Lauer
NBC News correspondent Stephanie Gosk appeared on “Today” on
Thursday to report on the subsequent developments, noting that
Lauer was “among the most high-profile men in the country brought
down by allegations of sexual misconduct,” and calling him “a
skilled interviewer of ordinary people, celebrities, and
“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain
I have caused others by words and actions,” he said. “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.”
Variety’s report included multiple allegations from current
and former NBC employees saying Lauer had engaged in a
pattern of inappropriate behavior during his time at the network.
It contained an accusation that Lauer once gifted a sex toy to a
female colleague, accompanied by a note about how he wanted to
use it on her.
It also says he allegedly exposed himself to another female
employee after summoning her to his office, then reprimanding her
for not participating in a sexual act. Variety reported that
several staffers said they complained to network executives about
Lauer’s behavior but were ignored.
The Times reported on Wednesday that NBC received two new
complaints that day about Lauer, including one from a woman
who alleged that Lauer invited her to his office in 2001, locked
the door from the inside, then sexually assaulted her.
The “Today” hosts continued reporting on the
developments on Friday, broadcasting photographs taken of Lauer
near his Long Island home, and noting that there are now “between
three and six” women who have accused Lauer of sexual harassment
“Questions have been raised about whether NBC News executives
knew of the complaints prior to Monday evening,” Guthrie said.
“Several former executives said they didn’t know of any
complaints. And the network responded saying, unequivocally, no
current management knew about any accusations.”