The Today show hasn't been the same since Matt Lauer was fired from the morning talk show following allegations of sexual harassment. The 59-year-old former anchor used to be a staple of the NBC brand — but sources recently told Us Weekly that "there has been a really terrible vibe" on set since his departure.
"Savannah [Guthrie] is devastated,” the source continued. “She and Matt were really close.” The news came as a surprise to Savannah, Matt's former co-host, and to the rest of the Today staff. “They knew Matt was flirty and playful and may have had relationships over the years, but what they knew of those relationships was that they were consensual and they weren’t aware they went beyond that."
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After Matt was fired from the show, he released a statement acknowledging his actions and apologizing to those he hurt. He wrote, “I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly. Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I'm committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full-time job. The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my own troubling flaws. It's been humbling. I am blessed to be surrounded by the people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace.”
Higher-ups at NBC made sure the entire staff was informed of the decision to end his contract as soon as possible. “Execs treated it as if Matt had died. It was very somber,” a second source explained. “The usual editorial meetings that have about 30 or so people were now 200 people because execs were addressing the situation with everyone. They were transparent and opened the floor to questions.”
While he is now a public disgrace, not all of his co-workers are ready to write him off. Kathie Lee Gifford expressed her willingness to forgive her friend and urged fans to do so as well. “No person is perfect in this world,” she stated. “Nobody is. We’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, is what scripture says. And what we need now is forgiveness, and we need mercy for one another. We don’t need taunts and we don’t need ugliness. We have enough of that in the world.”