Twitter Is Horrified At News Of Matt Lauer's Alleged Secret Button

Photo: Peter Kramer/NBC/Getty Images.
Following Matt Lauer's termination from NBC after a colleague complained of sexual misconduct, Variety has published a report detailing similar allegations from three other women, corroborated by friends and colleagues to whom they confided at the time. These accusations include instances like Lauer allegedly giving a female colleague a sex toy with a note about how he wanted to use it on her, reports that he'd play "fuck, marry, or kill" with other men about the women in the office, and make suggestive comments, invite women to his hotel room, and other inappropriate behavior.
However, there's one detail that is particularly shocking:
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"His office was in a secluded space, and he had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from the inside without getting up. This afforded him the assurance of privacy. It allowed him to welcome female employees and initiate inappropriate contact while knowing nobody could walk in on him, according to two women who were sexually harassed by Lauer."
Twitter latched onto this horrifying aspect of the story, and can't get over how unbelievable it is that it was allowed to exist.
"It's like the dude in a horror movie who asks the contractor to sound proof his basement so he can 'watch loud tv,'" commented writer Madison Kircher.
"I don't even understand the mechanics of this button. Is it like hydraulics?? Black magic???" added writer Allison Davis.
"Hmm maybe don't ever give anyone a button like this?" GQ's Caity Weaver helpfully suggested.
"Matt Lauer had a button under his desk that let him lock the door behind women who had just entered his office, but yes please tell me again how men no longer being alone with women at work will fix everything," wrote #GrabYourWallet cofounder Shannon Coulter.
"Next let's find the guy at NBC who approved Matt Lauer's 'Turn My Office Into a Casual Sex Prison' desk button," added entertainment writer Kevin Fallon.
These tweets go on and on:
A former NBC News executive clarified that these buttons are somewhat common:
It's safe to say it's maybe time to rethink those buttons...as well as a whole lot of other things the Variety report addressed.
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Refinery29 has reached out to NBC for comment.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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