What Was The Today Show Thinking With This Matt Lauer Sexual Harassment Mockumentary?

Photo: Peter Kramer/NBC/Getty Images.
In light of the allegations against, and subsequent firing of, Matt Lauer from NBC, there are a lot of Today show sketches over the years getting looked at through a new lens. And, in the context of what we've been hearing, a lot of these bits just don't age well.
Particularly one that portrays Lauer as the victim of sexual harassment by NBC correspondent and frequent Today Show contributor Willie Geist.
The skit, which is styled like a mockumentary, shows host Savannah Guthrie describing the incident (which didn't really happen), "that has everyone around her talking and accusing."
The Daily Show posted the clip on Twitter, which you can watch below.
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As the segment continues, reporter Jeff Rosen investigates Geist smacking Lauer’s butt, which they call the “smack heard ‘round the studio.” Geist insists he only smacked Lauer’s lower back.
The whole thing feels really inappropriate, particularly in light of Lauer's termination for exactly that kind of behavior. However, in the sketch, Lauer plays the pained victim, saying, “I didn’t do anything differently, I wasn’t wearing a different cologne, this was uninitiated."
The Cut rounded up a few other awkward sketches including one in which Lauer removes his pants after an assistant spills coffee on them. When Guthrie, Natalie Morales, Jenna Bush Hager, and Tamron Hall walk in while he’s standing in his boxers, Lauer turns to them with his jacket open and says “Drink it in, ladies.”
Yuck.
Also, an exceptionally uncomfortable Anne Hathaway interview in 2012 has resurfaced. If you've forgotten, shortly before Anne Hathaway appeared on the Today show to promote Les Miserables, there was upskirt paparazzi photo of the actress making the rounds. Lauer, for some reason, felt the need to address the wardrobe malfunction at the very beginning of their interview.
"Seen a lot of you lately," he quipped, going on to ask what she "learned" from the incident (as if it was in any way her fault).
Hathaway, ever the pro, shut Lauer down quickly.
It was obviously an unfortunate incident," she explained. "It kind of made me sad on two accounts. One was that I was very sad that we live in an age when someone takes a picture of another person in a vulnerable moment, and rather than delete it, and do the decent thing, sells it. And I'm sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies the sexuality of unwilling participants. Which brings us back to Les Mis [...] So lets get back to Les Mis."
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The question remains, what kind of person thinks this is an appropriate thing to ask?
Refinery29 has reached out to NBC and Today for comment and will update if and when we hear back.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call theRAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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