|Matt Lauer. (Reuters)|
United States - NBC News sacked Matt Lauer, the popular "Today" host, on Wednesday (29/11/2017) after a female colleague accused him of undeserving sexual behavior. This makes him the latest richer and wealthy person to be toppled for alleged sexual crimes
His stoppageing shocked the loyal audience of the American morning television show, where Lauer hosted 'Today' since 1997 and later became one of NBC's highest paid personnel, earning $ 20 million a year.
The married 59-year-old news star is the latest public figure involved in allegations of sexual misconduct, having previously hit a high profile man in entertainment, politics and the media.
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A few hours later, the host of the U.S. radio. Garrison Keillor said that he was fired by Minnesota Public Radio for alleged misbehavior.
The complaint filed by an unnamed female friend late Monday was "a clear violation" by Lauer about company standards, NBC News chairman Andrew Lack said in a statement.
"Although this is the first complaint about his behavior in more than twenty years he was at NBC News, we are also given a reason to believe that this may not be an isolated incident," Lack said.
The network issued a second statement in response to a report in the Hollywood trade publication Variety that said some women had complained to the network about Lauer's behavior. "We can say unequivocally that, prior to Monday night, the current NBC News management has never been aware of any complaints about Matt Lauer's actions," an NBC spokeswoman said. Lauer agent Ken Lindner did not respond to a comment request. The news was announced by Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb's "Today" coordinator at the start of a talk show, a US morning television for more than six decades, said NBC, which averaged more than 4 million viewers. "We just learned a few moments ago this morning," Guthrie said, looking shaken. "As I'm sure you can imagine, we're ruined."
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Lack's statement did not say who made the allegations, but promised that NBC News would cover the accusations against Lauer as precisely as possible. The woman had met a New York Times reporter on Monday before meeting with NBC's human resources and legal department that night to deliver the allegations. The Times reported, the woman said she was not ready to identify herself. Washington-based lawyer Ari Wilkenfeld said the meeting with NBC officials lasted several hours. "In less than 35 hours, NBC investigated and removed Mr Lauer," Wilkenfeld wrote in a statement. "Our current impression is that NBC is acting swiftly, like all companies, when confronted with suspected credible sexual errors at work."
The complaint said that such sexual errors occurred while Lauer and female colleagues covered the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia and continued after the Olympics, NBC News reporter Stephanie Gosk said in the air. NBC's representative did not respond to requests for more details. Lauer joined "Today" in 1994 and has interviewed presidents George Bush and Barack Obama and broadcast from seven Olympics. He is scheduled to join his master's counterpart for the giant Christmas tree lighting on New York City's Rockefeller Center television late on Wednesday. According to Fortune Magazine, he signed a two-year contract in 2016 that would pay him 20 million dollars a year.
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US President Donald Trump responded with a message on Twitter asking several of Lauer's colleagues to be fired as well, and added a recent attack on U.S. news outlets. for reporting it to the administration. "Wow," Trump wrote about Lauer. "But when are the top executives at NBC & Comcast fired for issuing so much false news?" During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump's Republican candidate was accused by 13 women who publicly said that in the past had physically touched them inappropriately, reports Washington Post. Trump denies the allegations.