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Entertainment Weekly

TV

Megyn Kelly on Matt Lauer firing: 'This one does hit close to home'

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Megyn Kelly began her hour of the Today show on Wednesday addressing the news of Matt Lauer’s sudden firing following a complaint about “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.”

“This one does hit close to home. 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,” Kelly said. “But when this happens, 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. 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 okay. The days to come will not be easy.”

Kelly continued, “We are in the middle of a sea change in this country, an empowerment revolution in which women who for years have felt they had no choice but to simply deal with being harassed at work are now starting to picture another reality, to feel that change is within their grasp. As painful as this moment is for so many here at NBC today, at CBS earlier this month, at Fox News over the last year, in Hollywood this fall, it is 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.”

Kelly, who previously worked at Fox News and has admitted to having complained about Bill O’Reilly’s behavior, then offered her own insight on the matter and how it will affect NBC going forward.

“My experience is a news organization is bigger than any one person. They all face challenges, they all stumble, but the good ones stay standing and forge forward fulfilling their core mission: journalism.”

Andy Lack, the chairman of NBC News, announced Lauer’s firing in a memo sent to staffers that was then read on air by Today co-host Savannah Guthrie and again later by Kelly.

“On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer,” the memo began. “It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment. 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.”

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