Katie Couric made her first public remarks about Matt Lauer’s ouster from NBC’s “Today” morning show, telling People Magazine that the incident continued to upset her.
“The whole thing has been very painful for me,” Couric told People in an interview. “The accounts I’ve read and heard have been disturbing, distressing and disorienting and it’s completely unacceptable that any woman at the Today show experienced this kind of treatment.”
NBCUniversal fired Lauer, who had worked on the A.M. show for more than 20 years, in late November, citing ““inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.” In a memo to staffers, NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack said executives “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.” Variety and The New York Times subsequently reported on allegations of harassment and assault that had been made around several past incidents.
Couric said she was unaware of any incidents taking her place during her time on the program, where she worked as an anchor between 1991 and 2006. “I had no idea this was going on during my tenure or after I left,” she told People. “I think I speak for many of my former colleagues when I say this was not the Matt we knew. Matt was a kind and generous colleague who treated me with respect.” She added: “It’s still very upsetting. I really admire the way Savannah [Guthrie] and Hoda [Kotb] and the entire ‘Today’ show staff have handled a very difficult situation.”