lauer nbc assault fired details

Matt Lauer Had an Assault Button Under His Desk & Other Horrific Details of His Time at NBC

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I very much wanted to be done talking about Matt Lauer for today and for always, but apparently, that’s just not possible yet. Because while NBC’s explanation cited “a detailed complaint from a colleague,” they didn’t give any more details. They emphasized that “it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he’s been at NBC News,” although they also have “reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”

Now Variety has released a detailed list of allegations that make it clear that 1. Matt Lauer is a goddamn monster, and 2. There’s no way NBC didn’t know about this. It takes a lot of power to keep shit like this quiet.

Some of the stories about Lauer include him giving a female colleague a sex toy as a gift, along with “an explicit note about how he wanted to use it on her.” He called another employee into his office, exposed his penis to her, then “reprimanded her for not engaging in a sexual act.” He made colleagues play the game “fuck, marry, kill” with him, commenting on which female co-hosts he’d like to sleep with. Despite being married, “For Lauer, work and sex were intertwined.”

One of the most disturbing bits from the article described a bond villain-type button under his desk designed to trap women in his already-secluded office.

His office was in a secluded space, and he had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from the inside without getting up. This afforded him the assurance of privacy. It allowed him to welcome female employees and initiate inappropriate contact while knowing nobody could walk in on him, according to two women who were sexually harassed by Lauer.

Going back to that whole not believing NBC didn’t know what Lauer was up to thing, WHO APPROVED THAT BUTTON?

https://twitter.com/DanaSchwartzzz/status/935984877425577984

On top of all of this, Variety says these details were the result of a two-month investigation. Meaning NBC definitely knew this was coming and only fired Lauer to get a jump start on damage control. Multiple women interviewed say as much, claiming they “complained to executives at the network about Lauer’s behavior, which fell on deaf ears given the lucrative advertising surrounding Today.”

In having to weigh the impact the firing of a serial sexual predator would have on profits, NBC–like so many others we’re hearing about–decided it just wasn’t worth it to care about women.

I bet they’re wishing they cared now.

(via Variety, image: Shuttertock)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.