The U.S. television network NBC has fired its leading morning news anchor, Matt Lauer, after receiving a complaint against him describing sexual misconduct.
“On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards,” NBC News chairman Andy Lack said in a statement.
“As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment.”
Lack added that although it was the first such complaint filed against Lauer, host of the daily morning Today show in the more than 20 years Lauer worked at the network, the company had reason to believe that it was not an isolated incident.
“We are deeply saddened by this turn of events. But we will face it together as a news organization – and do it in as transparent a manner as we can,” Lack said. Lack is the former CEO of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees Voice of America.
Lauer is the latest prominent U.S. personality to face allegations of long-running sexual abuse. The list includes President Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton when he was in office in the 1990s, actor Bill Cosby, film producer Harvey Weinstein, journalists and corporate executives. About 16 women have accused Trump of sexual harassment or worse. He has labeled the accusations “fake news” in both online tweets and other statements.
On Wednesday, President Trump commented on Lauer’s firing, saying in a tweet “Wow, Matt Lauer was just fired from NBC for ‘inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.’ But when will the top executives at NBC & Comcast be fired for putting out so much Fake News. Check out Andy Lack’s past!”
A representative for NBC News did not immediately respond to questions regarding Trump’s tweet.