This morning NBC announced it was
firing Matt Lauer from the Today show, citing evidence of “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.” Later this afternoon, Variety released a report detailing accusations made against Lauer, which include allegedly exposing himself to a female staffer and sending a sex toy as a gift to another with “an explicit note about how he wanted to use it on her.” The reports shocked Hollywood and celebrities began taking to Twitter to respond to the bombshell news.
This morning I woke up expecting to do a cooking segment on the Today show with my friend @MattLauerNBC. Driving uptown I was in shock as I heard the news of his dismissal due to allegations of sexual misconduct at work. As I watched @SavannahGuthrie read Andy Lack’s statement, I was utterly shaken up. I must say that in all the many years I have been on the @TodayShow I have only experienced a warm, cordial and respectful environment. When I walked into 30 Rock it felt like someone had died. The mood was somber to say the least, shell shocked would be more accurate. Like finding out your dad has been cheating on your mom and the happy family you thought you were living in is in fact broken. I must say that in all the years I have known Matt, and worked with him on the Today show, I have never found him to be anything but empathic, kind, totally appropriate, and respectful of me; a consummate professional. But as someone who has experienced sexual assault and sexual harassment I know how hard it is to come forward or even properly process that it is indeed happening to you. Especially when it’s someone who holds such a high place in one’s profession. I don’t know who the women who have come forward are but I can tell you how hard it is to even admit that it’s actually happened. You feel utterly intimidated and often blame yourself. There is no upside to a victim speaking out. And as a victim myself I am thankful she did. I am deeply saddened about Matt as I am saddened about @CharlieRose, two people I have very much looked up to in television. Their presence and contributions to our industry will be sorely missed. But I stand in solidarity with the victims. And while this is a painful period in our cultural history, it is a good and necessary purging one of the most harmful aspects of the ‘old boys club’. There is always pain when the thorn gets pulled out of the flesh. But only when it’s gone can the healing begin.