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‘We Are Heartbroken.’ Read Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb’s Response to Matt Lauer’s Firing

4 minute read

Matt Lauer, the longtime co-anchor of the Today Show, was fired from NBC News Wednesday morning following allegations of sexual misconduct.

Today Show co-anchor Savannah Guthrie was joined by Hoda Kotb to open the show and discuss the allegations against Lauer, who worked for the show for more than 20 years. Guthrie, whose voice was cracking as she broke the news about her colleague, read a statement from NBC News’s chairman.

Savannah Guthrie: This is a sad morning at today and NBC News. Just moments ago, NBC news chairman Andy Lack sent the following note to our organization:

Dear colleagues,

On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment. 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.

Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender.

We are deeply saddened by this turn of events. But we will face it together as a news organization – and do it in as transparent a manner as we can.

That is the statement from our chairman, Andy Lack, and we just learned this moments ago, just this morning. As I’m sure you can imagine we are devastated and we are still processing all of this. And I will tell you right now, we do not know more than what I just shared with you. But we will be covering this story as reporters, as journalists, I’m sure we will be learning more details in the hours and days to come, and we promise we will share that with you.

And Hoda, I mean, all we can say is that we are heartbroken. I’m heartbroken for Matt, he is my dear dear friend and my partner, and he is beloved by many many people here. And I’m heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story, and any other women who have their own stories to tell.

And we are grappling with a dilemma that so many people have faced these past few weeks. How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly? And I don’t know the answer to that.

But I do know that this reckoning that so many organisations have been going through is important, it’s long overdue, and it must result in workplaces where all women, all people, feel safe and respected. As painful as it is, this moment in our culture and this change had to happen.

Hoda Kotb: Yeah, it did. This is a very tough morning for both of us. I’ve known Matt for 15 years and I’ve loved him as a friend and as a colleague, and again just like you were saying Savannah, it’s hard to reconcile what we are hearing with the man who we know. Who walks in this building every single day. We were both woken up with the news pre-dawn, and we’re trying to process it and make sense of it and it’ll take some time for that.

Savannah Guthrie: Yeah. We’re processing it with all of you at home. We promise to be transparent and be straightforward, and continue this important conversation.

You can watch the full video here:

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Write to Billy Perrigo at billy.perrigo@time.com