Katie Couric says she was blindsided by the sexual misconduct allegations plaguing her former “Today” co-anchor Matt Lauer.
While she says that she’s never suffered through the kind of alleged sexual harassment that got him fired from NBC in November 2017, she hinted that his environment may have enabled him to behave badly.
“I certainly dealt with sexist environments and environments that marginalized and didn’t give women their due, and didn’t treat women as intellectual equals, but it’s hit very close to home with Matt Lauer and what happened there,” Couric, 61, said at TheWrap’s Power Women Breakfast at SXSW on Sunday. “It’s been an important experience for me because I never faced this kind of treatment. I was one of the lucky ones — I think I am harassable and I’m not harassable in that sense, and I think it is because I was in a position of power early in my career.”
Of Lauer specifically, Couric said, “I hope he’s trying to figure out and understand his behavior and why he did it and why it was so wrong. We had a wonderful working relationship.”
“It’s shocking, honestly, and disturbing, disorienting, disheartening — all of those d-words,” she continued. “But I think, he’s not the only one who behaves in this way … Cultures have existed in the media, and in every arena, where behaviors were tolerated, people looked the other way, it was an accepted way of doing business. I don’t think people paid much attention to it.”
The veteran anchor, who worked with Lauer from 1994 to 2006, thinks she was kept in the dark due to the “secretive” nature of this type of behavior.
Still, Couric spoke at a top-secret roast of the onetime “Today” staple in 2008, during which many of the jokes, including from Lauer himself, described his sexual proclivities at work.
Source: Page Six (Jessica Sager)
Photo Credit: Patch
Photo Credit: Huffington Post