Since NBC shocked TODAY show viewers Wednesday morning with the firing of Matt Lauer, people have already started looking to his past for evidence of his alleged behavior. As a result, an old interview from 2012 between the former TODAY co-anchor and Anne Hathaway has resurfaced.
Lauer, who was terminated from the network over a “detailed complaint” of “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace,” spoke with Hathaway about her role in Les Miserables, for which she ultimately won an Academy Award, but he immediately began the discussion by bringing up a wardrobe malfunction. Just days earlier, Hathaway had accidentally flashed a group of photographers while exiting a car at the film’s premiere.
“Good morning. Nice to see you. Seen a lot of you lately,” Lauer began.
“Let’s just get it out of the way,” he added. “You had a little wardrobe malfunction the other night. What’s the lesson learned from something like that — other than that you keep smiling, which you always do?”
Watch below at the 1:09 mark.
Hathaway surprised Lauer when she offered an articulate response that circled the conversation back to Les Miz: “Well, it was obviously an unfortunate incident. It kind of made me sad on two accounts. One was that I was very sad that we live in an age when someone takes a picture of another person in a vulnerable moment and rather than delete it, and do the decent thing, sells it. And I’m sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants, which takes us back to Les Mis, because that’s what my character is.”
Users on Twitter recall this moment as “sleazy” and “gross” in the wake of Lauer’s ousting.
Accompanied by NBC’s Hoda Kotb, TODAY co-host Savannah Guthrie announced the network’s decision on Lauer during the show on Wednesday. “As I’m sure you can imagine, we are devastated and we are still processing all of this,” Guthrie said. “And I will tell you right now we do not know more than what I just shared with you, but we will be covering this story as reporters, as journalists. 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.”
NBC News Chairman Andy Lack told staffers through an internal memo that, “while it is the first complaint 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.”
Reporters for Variety revealed on social media that they had been working on story about multiple other claims lodged against Lauer in private, while CNN‘s Brian Stelter reported journalists at The New York Times had been working on a similar exposé.