American TV network NBC has fired Today host Matt Lauer in the wake of “inappropriate sexual behaviour in the workplace.” He’s the latest powerful man to fall following the allegations made against Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein, and the network’s shock move has stirred up disturbing examples of his blatant on-air sexism. Case in point: his behaviour with Anne Hathaway.
While Hathaway was in the midst of the press tour for Les Miserables in 2012, Lauer, who Glamour reports held a $US20 million contract for his role on Today, was quick to make her uncomfortable. Hathaway had just been papped getting out of a car without any underwear beneath her dress, and the photos had been sold and published online.
Lauer’s opening line? “Nice to see you, seen a lot of you lately.”
It gets worse as Lauer asks what lessons Hathaway had learned from the incident, to which the actress brilliantly responds: “It was obviously an unfortunate incident. It kind of made me sad on two accounts. One was that I was very sad that when we live in an age where 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 the sexuality of unwilling participants. Which brings us back to Les Mis.”
Lauer is yet to respond to the allegations against him or his firing.