NBC anchor Megyn Kelly opened the top of her show on Today Wednesday by addressing the termination of her colleague Matt Lauer for sexual misconduct allegations, acknowledging the shock of the announcement but highlighting the bravery of those who came forward.
Before Kelly spoke about her personal experience with Lauer, she read the official statement from the network and showed the comments from Lauer’s former co-host Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, who was hosting in place of Lauer on Wednesday.
“This one does hit close to home,” Kelly said, referring to Lauer’s firing. “I too have known Matt for a long time, and he has been a friend, and kind and supportive to me in my transition to NBC News and I see the anguish on my colleague’s faces.”
“But when this happens,” Kelly continued, “What we don’t see is the pain on the faces of the women who found the courage to come forward. And it is a terrifying thing to do. We don’t see the career opportunities women lose because of sexual harassment or the intense stress it causes a woman dealing with it when she comes to work each day. I am thinking of those women this morning and hoping they are okay. The days to come will not be easy.”
NBC News announced Wednesday morning that Lauer, who had anchored the Today Show for more than two decades, had been fired following accusations of sexual misconduct. “While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident,” NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack said in a statement.
Kelly, who was at Fox when sexual harassment allegations against now deceased chairman Roger Ailes emerged, said she is confident NBC will weather the storm.
“The good [news organizations] stay standing and forge forward, fulfilling their core mission: Journalism,” she said.