Ann Curry says that her NBC colleagues knew—or, at the very least, ought to have known—that former anchor Matt Lauer was part of a “climate of ... harassment” that existed at the show, according to an interview with CBS This Morning.
Curry broke her silence on Lauer and the accusations of sexual abuse and misconduct lobbied against him in an interview with the CBS morning news show, which itself has had to deal with the swift exit of an abusive anchor.
During the interview, Curry, who co-anchored NBC’s Today show with Lauer from 2011 to 2012, was asked if she believed Lauer had abused his power.
“I can tell you I’m not surprised by the allegations,” Curry responded.
Gayle King pressed her on what she meant by that. Curry, in turn, emphasized that she wasn’t trying to do harm to her former colleagues.
“I’m trying not to hurt people. I know what it’s like to be publicly humiliated,” Curry said, alluding to her messy exit from Today, a departure Lauer played a major role in. “I never did anything wrong to be publicly humiliated, and I don’t want to cause that pain to someone else.
“But I can say,” Curry continued, “I would be surprised if many people, or women, did not understand that there was a climate of verbal harassment that existed. I think it would be surprising if someone said they didn’t see that.”
Curry’s comments, her first since Lauer’s dismissal late November of last year, contradict the accounts of some former and current Today-show staffers. Just last week, former anchor Katie Couric, who co-hosted the morning show with Lauer for 15 years, said that the abusive monster portrayed in the allegations “was not the Matt we knew.”
“Matt was a kind and generous colleague who treated me with respect,” Couric said.
And that whole thing about her having once said that Lauer pinched her on the butt a lot? Couric said it was just a joke.
“A joke I once made on late-night television was just that, because it was completely contrary to our brother-sister relationship,” Couric continued. “It’s still very upsetting.”
However, a recently resurfaced video that shows Lauer leering at his then co-host Meredith Viera and telling her to “keep bending over like that, it’s a nice view” would seem to cast doubt on Couric’s depiction of Lauer.
To echo Curry, straining not to throw her former colleagues under the same bus she herself was dumped in front of years ago, how could you say you didn’t know?