Another day, another set of awful allegations leveled against men in the entertainment industry. The latest reports are centered around former NBC News host Matt Lauer, who has been accused of sexual harassment by at least three different women. A few horrifying details have already come out about the alleged incidences, including a report from Variety that claims Matt Lauer had a door locking button under his desk. This bit of repulsive news is making the rounds on social media, and everyone is pretty horrified.
On Nov. 29, Lauer was fired from NBC News after a company employee stepped forward with a sexual harassment claim. Since then, Ramin Setoodeh and Elizabeth Wagmeister at Variety published a piece for which they spoke to three women who allege that Lauer behaved inappropriately towards them. The piece details some of the truly awful, creepy things he is said to have done. For starters, Lauer allegedly had a button in his office which he could use to seal the door shut from the inside. According to Variety, this allowed the news anchor to invite female colleagues into his office and instigate inappropriate behavior without having to worry about anyone walking in and catching him. Elite Daily reached out to Lauer's rep to ask about the alleged button but did not hear back at time of publication.
Having a hidden button in your office that seals your door shut is enough of a reason to raise questions. Who possibly needs that kind of apparatus?
The general consensus on Twitter was that the whole thing sounds seriously creepy and weird.
Sadly, the gross door locking button wasn't the only awful detail to come to light. Variety reported that Lauer put his female coworkers in a myriad of extremely sexually inappropriate situations including, in one instance, allegedly asking a colleague into his office, and then dropping his pants to show her his penis. When his co-worker declined to engage in a sexual act with him, Lauer allegedly chastised her. Are we starting to see a common thread here?
Another colleague accused Lauer of giving her a sex toy as a present. Yet another co-worker reported that Lauer initiated games of "kill, f*ck, marry," and would discuss which of his female colleagues he most wanted to sleep with. There are also reports that he sent out lewd text messages and made suggestive comments about his female co-worker's sexual performance.
Lauer allegedly wielded his massive amount of power strategically, a former producer told Variety.
“There were a lot of consensual relationships, but that’s still a problem because of the power he held,” the unnamed source said. “He couldn’t sleep around town with celebrities or on the road with random people, because he’s Matt Lauer and he’s married. So he’d have to do it within his stable, where he exerted power, and he knew people wouldn’t ever complain.”
Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, two of Lauer's former NBC colleagues, seemed shocked by the allegations when they announced the news on Nov. 29. Guthrie appeared emotional as she said,
We just learned this moments ago, just this morning. As I'm sure you can imagine, we are devastated. We are still processing all of this. 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.
One NBC News anchor didn't seem quite so surprised. Megyn Kelly, who hosts Megyn Kelly Today, said during Business Insider’s Ignition 2017 media conference on Nov. 29 that she had heard "rumors" about Lauer. She also touched on the news during her show, and applauded the courage that it took for the women to step forward.
"I am thinking of those women this morning, and hoping they are okay," Kelly said. "The days to come will not be easy."