NBC Instantly Mocked After It Releases Internal Investigation Report on Lauer

Emmett Rice
May 10, 2018

McGowan also shed light on the dust-up between journalist Ronan Farrow and NBC News.

Lauer, in a statement, acknowledged "past relationships" with co-workers, but alluded to some differences of opinion with NBCU findings, which he did not detail. What we can do is learn from it, and try to make it right.

He continued: "We can not change the past".

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, McGowan says that she was the one who pulled her story from NBC despite the belief that executives at the network had killed it, forcing Ronan Farrow to take his reporting to The New Yorker.

The seven-page document, titled "NBC News Workplace Investigation", which covers the network's news division as well as MSNBC, was commissioned by Steve Burke, CEO of NBCU; on November 30 of previous year, he instructed NBCU General Counsel Kim Harris to, as the document puts it, "assemble and supervise a team of experienced lawyers and HR professionals from outside the News Division" to dig into the Lauer scandal, to attempt to uncover other incidents of "inappropriate workplace behavior" and to determine if "employees in the News Division are comfortable reporting concerns about workplace behavior, and if not, why not". In November, an employee filed a formal complaint to NBC News about his "inappropriate sexual behavior" and three other women also came forward with similar allegations.

Lauer was sacked November 29 after a female employee complained to NBC's human resources department that the NBC News star had engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace with her on several occasions in 2014. While many admitted they "heard or read rumors about Lauer's personal life... and the possibility of extramarital affairs", the interviewees apparently assumed that "the rumored extramarital affairs were with women outside of the Company". "Every such individual credibly responded that they had no such knowledge".

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Throughout NBC's investigation, network leadership also denied that former Today co-host Ann Curry had discussed Lauer's behavior with them. She refused to disclose any names.

The report claimed that "according to the NBCUniversal facilities team, the button is a commonly available feature in executive offices in multiple NBCUniversal facilities to provide an efficient way to close the door without getting up from the desk". "Both companies and their employees are best-served when employees feel comfortable coming forward", said Ari Wilkenfeld, who also represents Linda Vester, a former NBC News employee who has made allegations about NBC News icon Tom Brokaw".

Longtime rumors about Lauer's behavior became public knowledge during the wave of Me Too accusations against powerful men late previous year.

"Quite a lot of people interviewed stated that Lauer could possibly be flirtatious, would ceaselessly make jokes, some with sexual overtones, and would overtly interact in sexually-oriented banter within the office", in accordance the report. Five days passed between the time she alerted HR and the time company representatives interviewed her.

A scathing Variety report previous year laid out accusations against Lauer that ranged from gifting sex toys to exposing his penis. The results could help put to rest months of turmoil at NBC.

Lauer said in his public apology he was sorry for the people he hurt. The company consulted with consulted with two outside law firms as part of the process. She reported this interaction to her manager, who decided that the woman would no longer be assigned to projects that required her to travel with Lauer. The report added that no one at Today show leadership or News HR said they received a complaint about Lauer's inappropriate workplace behavior, and investigators "did not find any contrary evidence".

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