After Matt Lauer was abruptly fired from NBC News early Wednesday morning over sexual misconduct, the media world awaited details surrounding his ouster. And by Wednesday afternoon, Variety published a shocking report detailing the extent of his sexual harassment at the network.
The report is the product of a months-long investigation by Variety, and includes a number of shocking accounts of Lauer’s behavior by NBC employees. Three women described facing sexual harassment at the hands of the TV veteran to Variety, though chose to remain anonymous.
Here are the five most stunning takeaways from Variety’s report:
1. Lauer gifted a co-worker a sex toy with an explicit note
As the co-host of NBC’s “Today,” Matt Lauer once gave a colleague a sex toy as a present. It included an explicit note about how he wanted to use it on her, which left her mortified.
2. Lauer, like every other media-man-cum-harasser, likes to show off his junk
On another day, he summoned a different female employee to his office, and then dropped his pants, showing her his penis. After the employee declined to do anything, visibly shaken, he reprimanded her for not engaging in a sexual act.
3. Lauer would make women play “fuck, marry, kill” with him
He would sometimes quiz female producers about who they’d slept with, offering to trade names. And he loved to engage in a crass quiz game with men and women in the office: “fuck, marry or kill,” in which he would identify the female co-hosts that he’d most like to sleep with.
4. Lauer had a BUTTON UNDER HIS DESK that allowed him to lock his door from the inside
His office was in a secluded space, and he had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from the inside without getting up. This afforded him the assurance of privacy. It allowed him to welcome female employees and initiate inappropriate contact while knowing nobody could walk in on him, according to two women who were sexually harassed by Lauer.
5. According to NBC employees, upper management “protected the shit out of Matt Lauer”
Lauer’s conduct was not a secret among other employees at “Today,” numerous sources says. At least one of the anchors would gossip about stories she had heard, spreading them among the staff. “Management sucks there,” says a former reporter, who asked not to be identified, speaking about executives who previously worked at the show. “They protected the shit out of Matt Lauer.”
Read the full Variety report here.
UPDATE –– 5:24 pm ET: NBC News has put out the following statement:
NBC News spox: “We can say unequivocally, that, prior to Monday night, current NBC News management was never made aware of any complaints about Matt Lauer’s conduct.” https://t.co/kMnRbTK4zH
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) November 29, 2017
[image via screengrab]
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