The fallout surrounding the end of Matt Lauer’s reign as the longest-running anchor currently hosting a morning show has pretty much hijacked today’s news cycle. Details surrounding Lauer’s lengthy history of alleged sexual misconduct have surfaced online, and the reports are shocking.
Variety.com conducted a two-month investigation into Lauer’s behavior with “dozens” of former and current NBC staffers and uncovered a web of sexual harassment and manipulation. Lauer reportedly gifted a colleague a sex toy and wrote an “explicit note about how he wanted to use it on her.” He reportedly invited another female employee into his office where he showed her his penis and reprimanded her after she refused to engage in a sexual act with him.
Variety’s investigation also accused Lauer of quizzing female producers about their sexual history, offering trade names and engaging in the game “f**k, marry, or kill,” where he’d reveal which female co-hosts he’d like to be involved with intimately.
A former producer reportedly told Variety.com, “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.”
News of Lauer’s alleged misconduct may come to a surprise to fans of his 20 year stint on Today, but an executive who previously worked on the show says his behavior was no secret on set. “Management sucks there… They protected the s**t out of Matt Lauer,” the anonymous source told Variety.com.
Video footage of Lauer making suggestive comments towards his former co-host Katie Couric only fuels recent allegations made against him.
As news of Lauer’s departure continues to make waves online, new complaints have since been filed against the former morning show host. According to the New York Times, NBC received one complaint from a former employee who accused Lauer of summoning her to his office and having sex with her in 2001.
Matt Lauer’s termination was reportedly ignited by a detailed complaint from a current NBC employee. On Monday (Nov. 27), the unnamed employee met with NBC’s human resources department where she revealed “inappropriate sexual conduct from Lauer that started on a trip at the Sochi Olympics in 2014 and continued for several months.”
Lauer now joins the growing list of prominent men that were ousted from their respective careers due to reports of sexual harassment and misconduct.