Former 'Today' co-anchor says 'verbal sexual harassment' was common at NBC
Former Today co-anchor Ann Curry discussed the departure of Matt Lauer in her first TV interview since the scandal. Sitting with the CBS This Morning team, Curry — who was ousted from Today in 2012 — was first asked by anchor Norah O’Donnell about the #MeToo movement.
“I think it’s, in general, overdue,” Curry said. “We’re clearly waking up to a reality and injustice that has been occurring for some time and I think it will continue to occur until the glass ceiling is finally broken. This is about power and balance where women are not valued as much as men. I’m not talking about people being attracted to other people — I’m talking about people in the workplace who are powerful, who are abusing that power, and women and men who are suffering. The fact we’re moving against this balance of power is absolutely overdue.”
Then O’Donnell pivoted to the big question: Does Curry believe Matt Lauer abused his power?
“You know, I’m trying to do no harm in these conversations,” Curry said. “I can tell you that I’m not surprised by the allegations.”
Pressed O’Donnell: What does she mean? She heard things? Knew things?
“I’m trying not to hurt people,” Curry repeated. “I know what it’s like to be publicly humiliated. I never did anything wrong to be publicly humiliated and I don’t want to cause that kind of pain to someone else. But I can — because you’re asking me a very direct question — say that I would be surprised if many women [at Today] didn’t understand there was a climate of verbal harassment that existed. I would it would be surprising if somebody didn’t see that. It was verbal sexual harassment.”
O’Donnell then asked Curry to repeat that she indeed meant verbal sexual harassment was persistent at NBC, which Curry confirmed.
Curry was then asked if she thought Lauer was behind her NBC exit, just as her fans suspected. While noting she’s “let it go” and jokingly reassured the CBS team that being asked about this topic wasn’t going to make her cry, Curry folded her arms protectively as she replied: “You should ask somebody else about that. I don’t know what was all behind it. I know it hurt like hell. It wasn’t a fun moment … I’ve let it go. It’s been years and I want to move on from that…”
Curry is making her return to TV with her new PBS show, We’ll Meet Again.