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Matt Lauer, the host of NBC’s The Today Show, has been fired by the broadcast network following claims of inappropriate behaviour, becoming the latest media figure to be hit by unsavoury allegations since Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment.
Several high-profile individuals have been fired since revelations about Mr Weinstein’s conduct first emerged last month, including the Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey, the comedian Louis CK, Roy Price, the head of Amazon Studios and Charlie Rose, the CBS broadcast journalist.
His firing was confirmed by co-host Savannah Guthrie, who opened Wednesday’s show with the news that Mr Lauer had been dismissed.
“On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer,” said Andy Lack, NBC News’ president said. “It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment.”
Mr Lack said it was “the first complaint about Mr Lauer’s behavior in the over twenty years” but added the network was “also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident”.
Mr Lauer’s dismissal will be a severe blow for NBC, which is owned by Comcast, the US cable operator. He has been among the network’s most bankable stars, hosting its Olympics coverage as well as being the face of its money spinning breakfast show – one of its most successful franchises – for several years.