Earlier today, it was announced that Matt Lauer had been fired from NBC for inappropriate sexual behavior. Now it has come to light that the host of the Today show was let go for allegedly assaulting a female NBC co-worker during the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014. An insider with NBC claims that the victim filed a complain with HR on Monday. They had this to say about how it all played out, after some have questioned the timing of the accusations.
"This happened so quickly. She didn't go to the media, she made a complaint to NBC's human resources, and her evidence was so compelling that Matt was fired on Tuesday night. The victim says she has evidence that this has also happened to other women, but so far we don't have evidence of that."
Some have speculated that the Matt Lauer news must have been known for some time, and that Today used this morning to launch the news to counter Good Morning America in the ratings as they were about to drop the first Avengers: Infinity War trailer. But that wasn't actually the case. According to sources close to NBC and this turn of events, Lauer was fired Tuesday night by NBC News chairman Andy Lack, and they were in a hurry to get in front of the story before another news outlet broke the story first. It was known that several other news outlets were already working overtime to get the firing into the public.
NBC decided to reveal the shocking news on The Today Show this morning, announcing that Matt Lauer, the anchor for The Today Show for 20 years, has been fired for sexual misconduct. The news came at roughly the same time that ABC's Good Morning America was about to drop quite possibly the most anticipated movie trailer in decades for Avengers: Infinity War. Some speculated that this announcement was a calculated turn to steal some thunder from ABC and Disney. It sure seems like a curious time to announce such a bombshell, one that even had the President of the Unites States tweeting about it.
The news of Matt Lauer getting fired for sexual harassment sent shockwaves throughout the news and entertainment industry. Lauer has been a part of America's mornings for 20 years and for some, he might as well be a part of their family. In a memo to employees sent Wednesday morning, NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack said the complaint, which was made by a colleague of Matt Lauer's, prompted a serious review and represented a "clear violation of our company's standards." The memo went on to state that although only one allegation has been reported, that there is "reason to believe" that it was not an isolated incident.
The shocking news spread like wildfire right before ABC was going to air the very first trailer for Infinity War, almost as if had been expertly engineered. Not much can slow down Marvel fans, but in terms of TV ratings in the morning, NBC may have clenched the race by drawing in many new viewers curious of the explosive news about Matt Lauer.
While the news may have certainly interfered with the Infinity War trailer somewhat, the truth is that NBC did it as soon as possible to keep other news outlets from breaking the story and possibly hurting NBC's reputation further. But, the rating story did seem plausible when one takes a look at the recent past of The Today Show's ratings. Ever since Ann Curry was let go from the show in 2011, the ratings have been in steep decline and turning into a real battle with Good Morning America. Before then, The Today Show had a huge lead against the ABC rival and didn't have much to worry about.
The news of NBC firing the beloved Matt Lauer wasn't an engineered way to capitalize on ratings while trying to come off as a network that will not stand for sexual misconduct. It was just a coincidence. Regardless, the Avengers 3 trailer is here and many fans probably don't even know that it first premiered on ABC's Good Morning America before anywhere else, even adding a 30-second teaser ahead of the big reveal, which was coincidentally right when the news of Matt Lauer's firing was announced. You can read more about Matt Lauer's firing via NBC.