Minutes after the news filtered through that NBC morning news anchor Matt Lauer had been fired due to sexual harassment complaints, the phrase Somewhere Ann Curry began trending on Twitter. In a statement, NBC News president Andrew Lack said on November 28, “On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer… 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.” The alleged incident took place during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. When Curry Left Today in 2012 She Famously Rejected a Kiss From Lauer
Curry famously left Today, becoming reduced to tears as she told viewers that she was leaving. The most shocking moment came she was interrupted by Matt Lauer who awkwardly leaned in for a kiss, which was rejected. It had been reported by the New York Times in the months leading up to Curry’s departure that Lauer had forced her out of the position.
A New York Magazine feature on Lauer and Curry’s relationship described his attempted kiss as “forensic evidence of his guilt.” An NBC staffer was quoted by New York Magazine as saying, “Everybody at NBC, everybody at the Today show, everybody understood that Ann was kicked out of her position because Matt didn’t want her there. That’s why it was so personal between Ann and Matt.” While executive producer Don Nash told the magazine that the pair had little chemistry and it had become impossible to fake.
While the Times had said that Curry was distraught with the “boy’s club atmosphere” at the show. As a result of her leaving the show, Today’s ratings fell off of a cliff. Lauer told the Daily Beast in an interview, “It was a hard time for everybody. I don’t think the show and the network handled the transition well. You don’t have to be Einstein to know that.”
TMZ reported that NBC was still forced to honor Curry’s $10 million per year contract until 2015 despite the fact she wouldn’t still be on Today.
2. Twitter Had Some Fun as ‘Somewhere Ann Curry Began to Trend’
When the news began to filter through of Lauer’s firing, many Twitter users thought of Ann Curry and put their creative juices to work. Here are some of the best tweets:
3. Curry Will Return to TV in 2017 in a Show Called We’ll Meet Again
In June 2017, PBS announced that Curry would return to television with the show We’ll Meet Again. The show will deal with human stories set against major historical moments. One story involves a Vietnam War baby trying to find the American father she never knew and a military chaplain who helped people through the trauma of 9/11. The show is due to air in the winter of 2018.
Curry said when the show was launched, “This series helps people separated by conflict, war and humanitarian disasters find each other again and reveals untold stories of courage, survival, friendship and even love. This is human history, — not from the point of view of kings or politicians or generals — but of everyday people on the front lines of massive events they have no way to control. Their stories tell us something about what we are made of.”
4. Curry Has Been Married to Tech CEO Brian Ross for Nearly 30 Years
Curry has been married to tech CEO Brian Ross for nearly 30 years. The couple has two grown-up children together. In 2003, the family bought a $3 million brownstone on the Upper West Side in Manhattan. Neighbors John Lee and Lynne Lummel, told the National Enquirer in 2013 that teh family never moved into the home and had doing extensive construction work for ten years. Lee even said that Curry humiliation at the Today show was “karma” for her behavior towards her neighbors.
John Lee told the tabloid, “On air, Ann comes across as caring and empathetic, a touchy-feely sort of person who wears her emotions on her sleeve. But when the cameras aren’t rolling, she’s far different from her public persona and not in a good way.”
5. In Announcing Lauer’s Departure; Savannah Guthrie Referred to the Disgraced Host as a ‘Dear, Dear Friend’
In announcing Lauer’s firing, his former co-host Savannah Guthrie described Lauer as a “dear, dear friend.” Guthrie added, “All we can say is we are heartbroken; I’m heartbroken.” Guthrie also said, “How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly?”
Lauer’s accuser’s lawyer, Ari Wilkenfeld, told the New York Times that he and his client met with NBC’s executives on the night of November 26. Wilkenfeld told the newspaper, “Our impression at this point is that NBC acted quickly, as all companies should, when confronted with credible allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace. While I am encouraged by NBC’s response to date, I am in awe of the courage my client showed to be the first to raise a complaint and to do so without making any demands other than the company do the right thing.”
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