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Veteran journalist Connie Chung was “thrilled” over the firings of Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose for what they represented for her and for women. Answering a viewer question on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Chung, 71, said she was sexually harassed practically “every day” when she was starting out as a TV anchor.
“Well, let me say for the record that anybody who sexually harassed me is now dead. They’re so old,” she began on a lighter note. When Cohen asked if she ever experienced harassment in the workplace, she said, “Oh yeah, oh sure, yeah, yeah. Every day. I mean, a lot, especially when I started out.”
Both Lauer and Rose were fired from their respective posts at NBC and CBS in the wake of numerous claims of sexual harassment and misconduct. Over the course of her career, Chung appeared across NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, and MSNBC.
“I am actually very proud, to answer the viewer’s question, very proud of CBS and NBC for just taking quick action,” Chung said, “because I think some people might be victims of precipitous action, but these two seem to… The reports about them were excessive, and I think I was thrilled for this moment for women. But I, yeah, I’m sorry but that’s all I should say.”
Both Lauer and Rose released statements regarding the allegations against them and their firings.
“It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior,” Rose said, in part. “I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate.”
“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions,” Lauer said. “To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC.”
He added, “Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly.”
Watch a clip of Chung on Watch What Happens Live above.