08:47, November 30 145 0 usmagazine.com

2017-11-30 08:47:03


Matt Lauer Not Mentioned During NBC's Rockefeller Tree Lighting: Details

Trying to stay merry! NBC’s annual Rockefeller Tree Lighting went on without Matt Lauer following his firing on Wednesday, November 29. In fact, the scandal surrounding the veteran journalist, 59, wasn’t brought up at all.

Lauer’s former colleagues — Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker — hosted the event, which took place outside the Today show studios in NYC.

The trio appeared to be upbeat and cheerful during the special amid the controversy. An onlooker tells Us Weekly that during commercial or pre-taped breaks the crowd was quite mellow.

Stars who took part in the event included Gwen Stefani, Harry Connick Jr., Seal, Jennifer Nettles, Leslie Odom Jr., Train, Pentatonix and, of course, The Radio City Rockettes.

Just hours earlier, Guthrie and Kotb announced during the Today show that Lauer had been fired after the network received a detailed complaint from an employee about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Lauer.

“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,” NBC News Chairman Andy Lack wrote in a memo to staff early Wednesday. “Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender. We are deeply saddened by this turn of events.”

Since then, Variety and The New York Times published stories with several women alleging that Lauer sexually harassed them. On Thursday, 24 hours after the news broke, Lauer released a statement.

“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. 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. 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,” he said, which was read by Guthrie on NBC. “Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I’m committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full time job. The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my own troubling flaws. It’s been humbling. I am blessed to be surrounded by the people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace.”

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