While things have seemingly calmed down it the past month or so, the entertainment world is still reeling from the myriad accusations of sexual misconduct, mostly against powerful men. The allegations made against Harvey Weinstein opened the dam, and a ton of alleged assault and/or harassment survivors have come forward. On the TV side of things, one of the most shocking accusations came in November when Today Show host and beloved TV journalist Matt Lauer was accused of a variety of inappropriate actions, and promptly fired from the network. While he's been laying low in the months following his firing, Lauer has now publicly addressed his departure and the allegations, after his former co-host Ann Curry has revealed more damning information from her time on the show. Here's what he said,
I have made no public comments on the many false stories from anonymous or biased sources that have been reported about me over these past several months . . . I remained silent in an attempt to protect my family from further embarrassment and to restore a small degree of the privacy they have lost. But defending my family now requires me to speak up. I fully acknowledge that I acted inappropriately as a husband, father and principal at NBC. However I want to make it perfectly clear that any allegations or reports of coercive, aggressive or abusive actions on my part, at any time, are absolutely false.
This is certainly a strong comment in opposition to the allegations surrounding Matt Lauer, while also taking at least some responsibility for misconduct in the workplace. Let's break down exactly what the statement entails.
From the verbiage, it's clear that Matt Lauer is denying any accounts of assault or coercion, which are among the many currently surrounding the TV veteran. When he was fired back in November, NBC indicated the allegations were not an isolated incident, meaning quite a few accusers came forward regarding his reported behavior. But he does seem to admit that he perhaps behaved inappropriately-- but is presumably indicating the parties were all consenting.
Today Show former co-host Ann Curry recently revealed that during her tenure on the show, a female NBC staffer reportedly approached her about Matt Lauer's inappropriate behavior, and that she was scared for her job security. While Curry hadn't truly gotten involved in the allegations up until this point, her recent comments are likely what fueled Lauer's written response to The Washington Post.
While Matt Lauer seems to be fighting back against the allegations made against him, The Today Show seems to have moved on. Hoda Kotb has taken his place as co-host alongside Savannah Guthrie, and ratings have remained solid. We'll just have to see how Lauer's situation moves forward, especially now that he's broken his silence on the matter.