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Matt Lauer

NBC News fired Matt Lauer for 'inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace'

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Updated November 29, 2017 09:50 AM EST

"Today" co-host Savannah Guthrie on Wednesday announced that her co-host Matt Lauer had been fired from NBC News for "inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace."

Guthrie called the news of Lauer’s termination a “sad morning for ‘Today’ and NBC News” before reading a memo from NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack about the situation.

“Dear colleagues, on Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer,” she read from Lack’s statement.

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“It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards,” Guthrie continued live on “Today.” “As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment.’”

“While it is the first about his behavior in the over 20 years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”

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Guthrie, quoting Lack, then noted that NBC News’ “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,” Guthrie added.

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

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Guthrie additionally revealed that the cast of “Today” had learned of Lauer’s sacking “only moments ago, just this morning.”

“As you can imagine, we are devastated,” she said. “And I will tell you right now that we do not know more than what I just shared with you.”

“But we will be covering this story as reporters, as journalists,” Guthrie vowed.

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“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.”

Lauer has been a co-host on “Today” since 1997, and he is arguably one of morning television’s most recognizable faces.

The broadcaster is the latest casualty of renewed global focus on sexual misconduct by powerful men.

The floodgates opened last month after scores of women accused Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of behavior ranging from sexual assault and harassment.

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Allegations have since emerged against noteworthy males across entertainment, politics, the media and sports.

President Trump on Wednesday tweeted about Lauer's firing, voicing surprise before raising questions about Lack's past behavior and Comcast, which is NBC News' parent company.

"Wow, Matt Lauer was just fired from NBC for "inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace,"" Trump wrote.

"But when will the top executives at NBC & Comcast be fired for putting out so much Fake News," he added. "Check out Andy Lack's past!"

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