In November, Matt Lauer was fired from the Today show on NBC after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced. Multiple women have spoken out about their inappropriate experiences with the news anchor, though one voice in particular remained silent in the media. Katie Couric, who co-hosted the Today show with Lauer for 15 years, did not immediately make a statement after her former coworker was fired—she said in December that she would wait to comment until she felt ready to. Now, she’s opened up about her thoughts on the matter.
“The whole thing has been very painful for me,” the news anchor told People on Saturday. “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.”
She went on to explain that she never experienced any inappropriate behavior.
“I had no idea this was going on during my tenure or after I left,” Couric said. “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. In fact, a joke I once made on late-night television was just that, because it was completely contrary to our brother-sister relationship. 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.”
The joke she referred to is one she made on Watch What Happens Live. She told Andy Cohen that Lauer’s most annoying habit was that “he pinches me on the ass a lot.”
Couric is currently working on a National Geographic documentary series called Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric. “One of my Nat Geo episodes explores the various obstacles that are holding women back in Hollywood, Silicon Valley and beyond,” she said. “I just interviewed Elisabeth Moss about this. Harassment is just one part of the equation.”
“I think it was really moving to see so many women support each other and demand change, not only for themselves, but for mistreated and marginalized women in all kinds of industries,” she said about the Time’s Up movement, “Clearly we are witnessing a sea change and a long overdue course correction.”
–Matt Lauer Reacts to Hoda Kotb Replacing Him as ‘Today’ Coanchor
–Matt Lauer’s Problematic Past With Women On NBC
–300 Powerful Hollywood Women Just Launched Time’s Up, a Massive Antiharassment Action Plan