Matt Lauer is the latest public figure to be swept away by the tide of women complaining about sexual harassment and assault. Some were surprised at NBC’s swift response since they say that the complaint came Monday night and late Tuesday, Matt was told he was done…fired for just cause.
However, it turns out both Variety and the New York Times were investigating allegations against the Today show host for months, so management knew. Their swift action doesn’t seem swift enough. There have been rumours for years about affairs and stuff but that doesn’t necessarily translate into sexual harassment or assault. However, and this is a big one, if the affair involves a power differential at work, it becomes much more problematic.
Given that NBC spiked Ronan Farrow’s piece of Weinstein, given that they sat on Trump’s Access Hollywood tape…is it any wonder that the network had to try and get ahead of this story?
And just a suggestion for male reporters on this story: this is a story about your society, about your mothers and sisters and friends and wives and girlfriends. Don’t sit there, afraid to chime in and leave all the commenting to the women. We need strong, brave, decent men to be part of the conversation now more than ever. We can and should be talking about what constitutes the shifting lines in the workplace. We can and should be talking about how all of us, male and female, don ‘t sit idly bye when we see someone being bullied or harassed.
Remember Broadcast News when William Hurt was angry that Holly Hunter wouldn’t go away with him because he faked cry in an interview. She said he should be fired, that he crossed a line. He responded that it was easy to cross because the line kept shifting. We are there now and it’s time to decide where the line should be….together.