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NBC should have acted quicker in the firing of Lauer

She’s faking it. I don’t believe her. She’s just accusing him to get her 15 minutes of fame. Why did she wait so long to come forward with these claims? These comments and questions are common responses when a sexual misconduct claim is made against a high-profile man. We’ve seen these comments made in reference to men like film producer Harvey Weinstein, Republican politician Roy Moore and comedian Louis C.K. However, those comments seem to have little effect on the recent movement that has been ousting accused sexual harassers from prominent positions. The numerous accusations against these men go viral, resulting in swift and extensive media coverage and often ending with the accused losing or stepping down from their jobs (excluding Moore and President Donald Trump). The months following the initial report about Weinstein’s misconduct have seemingly been days of reckoning for many men as their alleged victims gained the strength and courage to speak out against this wrongdoing. It has been a breath of fresh air to see these actions no longer be swept under the rug and many companies have been taking sexual misconduct accusations against their employees seriously. However, it seems that the firing of these men happens only after the accusations garnered intense media coverage and sparked public outrage. That’s not the case for NBC, though. “Today” show host Matt Lauer was fired on Nov. 29 after an NBC employee reported a “detailed complaint” about Lauer’s sexual misconduct, according to an email sent to NBC workers by network President Andrew Lack. Lack also wrote in the email that there was reason to believe that the anonymous employee’s experience was not an “isolated incident.” Lauer’s firing came before any media outlets reported on the accusations made against him. However, Variety, which claims it has been investigating claims against Lauer for two months, wrote that “Several women told Variety they complained to executives at the network about Lauer’s behavior, which fell on deaf ears given the lucrative advertising surrounding Today.” NBC swiftly fired Lauer after the anonymous victim made her claim on Monday, but the network apparently ignored more than one complaint in the past. If NBC had listened to these women, they could have possibly prevented someone from being a victim of Lauer’s sexual harassment. The only thing that has changed is the current unforgiving atmosphere surrounding sexual assault accusations. Hopefully, in the future, NBC won’t make the same mistake by ignoring the complaints of employees. The Voice is intended to best represent the collective opinion of The Setonian’s Editorial Board. It is written by The Setonian’s Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor.


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