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- NBC has fired the “Today” show host Matt Lauer after it received a complaint of “inappropriate sexual behavior.”
- In an impassioned monologue, the NBC News morning-show host Megyn Kelly hailed the recent flood of allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace as part of “an empowerment revolution.”
Megyn Kelly, the host of the NBC morning show “Megyn Kelly Today,” on Wednesday delivered an impassioned monologue about the recent flood of allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace.
Earlier Wednesday, the network said it had fired its longtime host Matt Lauer after it received a complaint of “inappropriate sexual behavior.”
“This one does hit close to home,” Kelly said. “I, too, have known Matt for a long time, and he has been a friend and kind and supportive to me in my transition to NBC News, and I see the anguish on my colleagues’ faces.”
But Kelly said her sympathy was with the women who say they experienced sexual misconduct.
“What we don’t see is the pain on the faces of those who found the courage to come forward, and it is a terrifying thing to do,” Kelly said. “We don’t see the career opportunities women lose because of sexual harassment, or the intense stress it causes a woman dealing with it when she comes to work each day. I am thinking of those women this morning and hoping they are OK. The days to come will not be easy.”
While at her previous network, Fox News, Kelly accused its chairman at the time, Roger Ailes, of sexual harassment and criticized the top host Bill O’Reilly for dismissing similar allegations against himself.
On Wednesday, she described the recent flood of allegations against multiple powerful men in Hollywood, the media, and politics as part of “an empowerment revolution” in which women were beginning “to picture another reality” and “feel that change is within their grasp.”
Kelly, who has made sexual harassment a major topic of discussion on her new morning show, said that while the firings of beloved personalities were painful, they were “a sign of progress, of women finding their voices, their courage, and of the erosion of a shameful power imbalance that has been in place for far too long.”
NBC’s “Today” show host Savannah Guthrie began Wednesday morning’s episode with an emotional discussion of Lauer’s firing, saying she and her colleagues were “devastated” by the news and “still processing all of this.”
“For the moment, all we can say is that we are heartbroken,” Guthrie said. “I’m heartbroken for Matt – he is my dear, dear friend and my partner, and he is beloved by many, many people here. And I’m heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story.”