Another television personality has been terminated due to allegations of sexual misconduct. This morning, NBC’s Today show announced their co-anchor, Matt Lauer, was terminated late Tuesday night after a detailed account of his misbehavior was brought forward by a staff member.
The New York Times states the woman and her attorney met with NBC’s legal and human resources department Monday evening. The network investigated the accusations and deemed them credible, resulting in the firing of the well-known, and well-liked, host. While NBC admits it is the first complaint against Lauer since he began working for the network, it wanted to be clear the behavior strongly violated the standards set forth by the company.
NBC’s swift response to the allegations demonstrates a shift in policies and action in regard to sexual harassment. Rather than sweep it under the rug, settle the case confidentially or continue with months of investigating, the company was quick to terminate an employee that is the face of its highly profitable morning show.
Getting ahead of sexual harassment allegations is a trend that is gaining steam among media networks and corporations. According to CNN, there has been a cultural change in cases involving sexual misconduct, with women feeling confident to come forward and journalists jumping at the chance to tell their stories. Lauer’s dismissal is just the latest in a string of firings that includes another news anchor, Charlie Rose, and numerous Hollywood stars. Experts predict this is only the beginning of sexual harassment claims surrounding high-profile men.