Matt Lauer's Firing for Alleged 'Inappropriate Sexual Behavior' Rocks 'Today' Show and Viewers
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Hollywood's History of Sexual Misconduct

Lauer's NBC colleagues among the first to publicly react, since they were tasked with delivering the news, and Donald Trump quickly weighs in.

Viewers tuning into "Today" on Wednesday morning found themselves as shocked as co-hosts Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker to discover that Matt Lauer had been fired overnight by NBC for allegations of what the network described as "inappropriate sexual behavior."

"We just learned this moments ago, just this morning," Guthrie told viewers, still visibly trying to wrap her mind around it.

Lauer's firing makes "Today" the second major morning show rocked by the ongoing sexual harassment scandal that has swept through Hollywood and the media since dozens of disturbing Harvey Weinstein allegations surfaced in October. Charlie Rose was fired last week, leaving his "CBS This Morning" co-hosts in a similar state of disbelief. On Wednesday, Gayle King reacted to the Lauer bombshell by saying she had "a sickening feeling of deja vu."

"But it does send the message that you are not too big to fall," she added.

Guthrie opened the "Today" broadcast with the shocking news about her long-time colleague, saying they received word from an internal memo by NBC News chairman Andrew Lack. The memo stated that this was the first allegation the network had received against Lauer, but that the network was "also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident."

"How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly?" Guthrie asked. "I don’t know the answer to that."

She went on to add, "This reckoning that so many organizations have been going through is important, it’s long overdue, and it must result in workplaces where all women — all people — feel safe and respected."

Megyn Kelly, who joined "Today" recently, addressed the issue during her show as well. "I see the anguish on my colleagues faces," she said. "But when this happens, what we don't see is the pain on the faces of those with the courage to come forward. And it is a terrifying thing to do. We don't see the career opportunities that women lose because of sexual harassment, or the intense stress it causes a woman dealing with it when she comes to work each day.

"I'm grappling with, should I even share something? But I guess I really should," Kathie Lee Gifford said at the top of her hour. "I don't feel that Matt has betrayed us in any way at all but when I found out that my husband had betrayed me, you question your own judgment. You say, 'Was everything a lie?' And I think we have to very much fight against that, that the man we know and adored was the man we loved and adored and continue to. I texted him this morning and said, 'I adore you.' No person is perfect in this world ... and what we need now is forgiveness and mercy for one another."

A female staffer came forward internally at NBC News on Monday with detailed allegations about Lauer's alleged inappropriate behavior during the Sochi Olympics. The New York Post initially reported a source said the offense was "sexual assault," but the publication has since tweeted an update: "Sources initially told The Post that Lauer had been accused of sexual assault during the Sochi Olympics, but later said it was inappropriate sexual behavior."

The news rocked social media as well, quickly catapulting "Matt Lauer" to the top of Twitter's trending terms, with "Today Show" not far behind. Even the President Donald Trump chimed in.

Read NBC's full memo below:

On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company's standards. As a result, we've decided to terminate his employment.

While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he's been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.

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. But we will face it together as a news organization – and do it in as transparent a manner as we can.

View Photos Getty 11 Stars Accused of Sexual Misconduct Before Hollywood's Harvey Weinstein Scandal

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