February 10, 2015 8:09 PM EST
Brian Williams has been suspended from NBC for six months without pay.
The network released a statement Tuesday saying that the
Nightly News anchor has been suspended as managing editor and anchor effective immediately, and Lester Holt will continue to substitute for him. Williams has been the subject of controversy after it became clear that he had told a false account of coming under enemy fire in Iraq in 2003. The statement called his remarks “wrong and completely inappropriate”:
Nightly News on Friday, January 30, 2015, Brian misrepresented events which occurred while he was covering the Iraq War in 2003. It then became clear that on other occasions Brian had done the same while telling that story in other venues. This was wrong and completely inappropriate for someone in Brian’s position.
In addition, we have concerns about comments that occurred outside NBC News while Brian was talking about his experiences in the field.
As Managing Editor and Anchor of
Nightly News, Brian has a responsibility to be truthful and to uphold the high standards of the news division at all times…
As I’m sure you understand, this was a very hard decision. Certainly there will be those who disagree. But we believe this suspension is the appropriate and proportionate action.
In December, Williams signed a five-year contract with NBC worth $10 million a year,
according to the New York . Times See Brian Williams Through The Years Brian Williams was the Editorial Editor for his school newspaper seen here on the far right during his Senior Year at
Mater Dei High School in New Monmouth, N.J. in 1977. Seth Poppel—Yearbook Library From Left: Brian Williams, President George W. Bush and AP writer Glenn Johnson talk aboard Bush's campaign plane in Florence S.C. on Feb. 17, 2000. Reuters From Left: Brian Williams poses with NBC Anchor Tom Brokaw in New York City prior to Brokaw's last broadcast on Dec. 1, 2004. Richard Drew—AP Brian Williams during a break in the "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams" show in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005. Dwaine Scott—NBC/AP Brian Williams reports from Camp Liberty in Baghdad on March 8, 2007. Jeff Riggins—NBC/Getty Images From Left: President Barack Obama and Brian Williams takes a look at what happens in the White House and the West Wing during a day in the life of the Obama administration on May 29, 2009. Subrata De—NBC/Getty Images From Left: Amy Poehler, Brian Williams and Seth Meyers on 'Saturday Night LIve' on Nov. 3, 2007. Dana Edelson—NBC/Getty Images Jimmy Fallon and Brian Williams "Slow Jam the News" on 'The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon' on Dec. 2, 2014. Douglas Gorenstein—NBC/Getty Images From Left: Brian Williams, Allison Williams and Jane Stoddard Williams attend the "Girls" season four series premiere after party at The Museum of Natural History on Jan. 5, 2015. Jamie McCarthy—Getty Images Brian Williams embraces Army Command Sergeant Major Tim Terpak at a hockey game at Madison Square Garden in New York on Jan. 29, 2015, where Terpak was honored. Williams admitted to conflating events when describing his experiences in combat with Terpak during the Iraq war. On Feb. 10, he was suspended without pay for six months. James Devaney—GC Images More Must-Reads From TIME Meet the 2024 Women of the Year Greta Gerwig's Next Big Swing East Palestine, One Year After Train Derailment The Closers: 18 People Working to End the Racial Wealth Gap Long COVID Doesn’t Always Look Like You Think It Does Column: The New Antisemitism The Best Romantic Comedies to Watch on Netflix Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time