Well, that’s awkward. NBC’s Today celebrated 25 years at Studio 1A in Rockefeller Center on Thursday. The show’s hosts marked the occasion with a snazzy montage full of memories… except for one. Missing completely from the retrospecitve was disgraced former co-host Matt Lauer.
Perhaps it’s not surprising they are trying to erase from history the man known for having a button under his desk that locked women into his NBC office. NBC fired Lauer in November of 2017 after numerous misconduct allegations. Co-host Savannah Guthrie gushed as she introduced the montage: “So, we’re going to start our celebration with a look back at how it all began…. For a quarter of a century, our Today home has been studio 1A!”
In perhaps a poor choice of words, Guthrie insisted, “[The] Today show’s past echoes it’s present.” The montage even talked about the history of the show in the 1990s. Few can think of ‘90s Today show and not remember Lauer.
Smiling, happy images of Tom Brokaw, Bryant Gumbel, Katie Couric and others appeared. But not Lauer.
The Hollywood Reporter headlined it this way:
Hollywood Reporter journalist Evan Real noted:
Lauer was a news reader in 1994 when the Today show first set up shop at Studio 1A and ultimately rose to co-anchor of the morning show. He was fired in 2017 after a sexual misconduct scandal broke amid the #MeToo movement.
Perhaps the journalists and executives at NBC are tired of being mocked for Lauer. On February 24, 2019, HBO host John Oliver savaged the disgraced host as a “sophisticated Manhattan sex monster.” Still, like it or not, Matt Lauer is a part of NBC’s history, even if they now pretend he was never there.