Although allegations of sexual harassment have just recently forced the firing of NBC host Matt Lauer, it seems everyone around the network, including many other media heads and celebrities, knew of Lauer’s misconducts nearly a decade ago.
They didn’t just know of his wrongdoings, they made light of the incidents and joked about them during a 2008 comedy roast of Lauer.
Here’s the story, per Fox News:
Embattled NBC executives have been falling over themselves, insisting they had no idea about Matt Lauer’s pervy past. But if anyone doubts that New York’s media elite was aware of Lauer’s reputation, they should look no further than a top-secret “roast” of Lauer that took place in October 2008.
The notorious event ─ now legendary in New York media circles ─ pushed the outer limits of sexist, racist, homophobic and obscene jokes — and left little doubt that Lauer’s colleagues knew NBC’s biggest star had a troubled marriage and a wandering eye.
Last week, NBC’s own Joe Scarborough, who attended the roast but said he left early, feeling uncomfortable, brought it up on “Morning Joe.” Lauer’s peccadillos, he said, were not just known about. At the roast, they were celebrated.
“The whole theme was that he does the show and then he has sex with people, with employees,” Scarborough said. “So was this whispered behind closed doors? No. It was shouted from the mountaintops and everybody laughed about it.”
WARNING: The roast includes graphic content including many explicit sexual references.
Fox News reports some of the roast:
“Today” co-host Al Roker was the “roastmaster” and Tom Cruise (who had famously feuded with Lauer on air over Scientology) made peace with a surprise appearance as a guest roaster. But while Cruise kept it relatively PG-13, once he finished, jokes focused on Lauer’s in-office sexcapades.
Former “Today” star Katie Couric went next, reading a David Letterman-style Top 10 list of facts about Lauer. Among the digs, “No. 10 – According to his wife, he’s not really an early riser, if you know what I mean.”
But a shot at Lauer’s in-office relationship with [fellow NBC host Ann] Curry, who was in the room, got the biggest laugh of Couric’s routine.
“No. 2 – He loves to eat Curry,” she said as Curry (sitting in the audience) went pale and the crowd roared with laughter. “What? Indian food! What’s wrong with you people?”
The rest of the contents of the 2008 roast can be viewed in detail here.
Many people knew about his behaviors long ago:
“This was a comedic roast, but there was clearly a vein of truth running through all those jokes,” said a media executive who was in attendance. “You had Katie Couric, Meredith Vieira and Jeff Zucker all standing up there joking about his sex in the office, his kinkiness. They all knew.”