Ann Curry on Matt Lauer: ‘Women need to be able to work… without fear’

Ann Curry and Matt Lauer

When Ann Curry was pushed out of the Today Show in 2012, it was a messy, unprofessional debacle. What surprises me a little bit, as I’m re-reading our coverage of the mess, was that it was always 100% clear that Matt Lauer was calling the shots, that he was taking the lead in pushing out Curry, who was then his co-anchor. Granted, I always thought Ann was sort of ill-suited to morning television – she needed her own magazine show, in primetime. Anyway, Lauer was always the one responsible for Ann’s messy public dismissal. NBC publicly humiliated Ann for no real reason other than Matt Lauer’s dislike of her. She wept openly on her last day at Today, unable to even look Lauer in the eye because of how upset she was. Lauer did not come out smelling like a rose either – his approval ratings or Q ratings plummeted. People remember what he did to Ann. Which is probably why “Ann Curry” began trending on Wednesday, soon after Lauer’s firing broke.

It’s worth revisiting what happened between Ann and Lauer – New York Magazine had two great pieces on what went down, behind the scenes, go here and here to read. Once you revisit all of that, you come out of it realizing that Ann Curry has the patience, grace and dignity of a saint. Everyone wants to talk to her too, and so she sat down with People Magazine and offered a dignified and measured statement.

Ann Curry, the former Today show co-anchor who worked alongside Matt Lauer for more than a decade, is speaking out following the shocking news that Lauer was fired Tuesday evening for alleged inappropriate sexual behavior.

“The women’s movement got us into the workplace, but it didn’t make us safe once we got there,” said Curry, whose own departure from Today was clouded by talk of sexism at the venerable morning show. “And the battle lines are now clear. We need to move this revolution forward and make our workplaces safe. Corporate America is quite clearly failing to do so, and unless it does something to change that, we need to keep doing more ourselves.”

Curry sat down with PEOPLE as part a previously scheduled interview to discuss her upcoming return to television with the PBS docuseries We’ll Meet Again, airing in early 2018, Curry declined to comment specifically about Lauer’s sudden termination, noting, “I’m still really processing it.” However, Curry did share her thoughts on what this latest bombshell signifies to her — and other women.

Curry is now focused on her role as executive producer and host of We’ll Meet Again, which reunites people who have lived through traumatic moments with the person who helped them the most. Having gone through her own professional trauma, Curry says her heart goes out to the women who have now come forward to speak out against sexual misconduct of any form.

“I admire the women who have been willing to speak up both anonymously and on the record. Those women need to keep their jobs, and all women need to be able to work, to be able to thrive, without fear. This kind of behavior exists across industries, and it is so long overdue for it to stop,” she says. “This is a moment when we all need to be a beacon of light for those women, for all women, and for ourselves.”

[From People]

When all is said and done with this unfolding Matt Lauer drama, I’m sure he won’t be the only one who gets sh-tcanned. There are a lot of open positions on morning television shows these days, and it’s high time that Ann Curry comes back and graces us with her presence. People have already started a petition to get Curry back on Today. I say no – she should take over Charlie Rose’s seat at CBS’s This Morning. At Today, they should just set fire to everything and start anew.

New York premiere of 'Spy'

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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55 Responses to “Ann Curry on Matt Lauer: ‘Women need to be able to work… without fear’”

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  1. Alix says:

    “The women’s movement got us into the workplace, but it didn’t make us safe once we got there.” Perfectly stated.

    • launicaangelina says:

      This quote right here is perfection.

    • vava says:

      Yes, it is perfect.

    • Sky says:

      There’s so much truth in those words.

    • mamacita says:

      as someone stated on Twitter above ‘harassment and abuse is always about power’. we need to remember that. in ann’s case, it appears that matt lauer was verbally and emotionally abusive. that was how he abused his power with her. probably because she made it clear she wouldn’t stand for his misogynistic shit. NO ONE should get a pass on verbal or emotional abuse anymore either. and every man that props up his powerful male friend or colleague when they behave that way, should not get a hall pass either. I’m beyond sick of it.

      • Addison says:

        I was talking to my brother. He was saying that men really need to call out bad behavior. I told him it starts with sexist remarks and yelling. If you see the case of Harvey he was known to berate people. This behavior then can escalate to other things such as groping and finally sexual assault.

        I for sure will call out sexist comments and bullying behavior when I see it. Hopefully I will be backed by males around me and they will in turn start calling out their male co-workers or friends.

  2. BengalCat2000 says:

    She is ageless and beautiful and awesome and I ❤ her!

  3. Nicole says:

    Exactly. Her career was in part ruined by him. As were many others

    • fubar says:

      the last day that I watched the Today Show was the day she cried on air.

      • BlueSky says:

        @Fubar me too. I was done with the Today show after they screwed Ann Curry over. She did nothing to deserve being treated that way.

      • INeedANap says:

        She has far more poise than I. If I had to say goodbye to my career, live on-air, next to the person who had done that to me, I would have clocked him square in the face.

      • Meredith says:

        Me too. I have not watched since her ungracious firing and changed my viewership to GMA instead. Ann deserved way better than what Matt and NBC put her through.

      • Janetdr says:

        Me too

  4. Jamie42 says:

    I would love to see her back on some show. Her lovely voice, her calm and measured demeanor, were the only reasons I continued to watch Today, and I stopped when she left.

  5. OTHER RENEE says:

    How long did she host the Today Show? And why did he hate her so much? Because she refused his scummy advances? Or because he couldn’t manipulate her? She has always come across like a class act.

    • Jen says:

      She had a very different hosting style from the bubbly, cutesy other co-hosts he’s had, but she was actually let go because of the way HE was coming across. It’s been said by numerous sources he didn’t like how sour and uncomfortable he looked working with her, which says so much about him as a person and a co-worker.

      • Nic919 says:

        Apparently they reveal now that when they co hosted it was Lauer’s Q ratings that were lower. So Ann Curry took the hit for his bad mood…

      • Bridget says:

        They were a bad combination (style-wise) and Ann wasn’t a great anchor. I actually loved her as the 2nd cohost and with more news stuff, but as far as the anchor role went, the harder news stuff was Lauer’s niche because he was “serious” and he clearly did not like being next to her. And they treated Ann like crap. Today never recovered from that debacle.

      • Kitten says:

        Ann was not a good cohost or interviewer IMO. Sorry because I can see that she is beloved around here but her on-air awkwardness and continual gaffes were really distracting. That being said, she was GREAT when field reporting or reporting overseas as well as anchoring their news segment.

        Regardless of my personal opinion about her cohosting style, she didn’t deserve to be treated like trash by NBC and they deserved to see their ratings tank after they let her go.

      • Jess says:

        Kitten I completely agree. She is likable, but lacked basic skills like TelePrompter reading. Her verbal gaffes used to make me incensed. She’s sweet, but she doesn’t belong on TV.

      • cleveland girl says:

        Kitten…no need to beat around the bush. Yes…
        Ann is elegant whatever…but she was the worst co-host in the Today show history.

  6. Square_Bologna says:

    Arrogant POS he is. I hope he has no comeback from this.

  7. grabbyhands says:

    I’m extremely impressed at the level of grace with which she responded to this question because the temptation to scream “SUCK IT, LAUER” must have been overwhelming. Maybe she had scream therapy later.

    I have friends who absolutely loathe Ann Curry and I never understood why. I’m not a morning TV watcher so she always seemed pretty measured and calm to me. Does she have a weird interview style or something?

    • CynicalAnn says:

      She seems like a lovely person, and what happened to her was awful, but I thought she was a terrible interviewer. She used to be the news reader initially (when Katie Couric was still there and the show was actually good and not like a tabloid) and she was great. I never loathed her, but I actually found her very cringeworthy during her live interviews on set once she was promoted to co-anchor.

      • MTC says:

        I agree. She seems like a fine person and was good reading the news on Today but she was a terrible co-host and that’s not all on Lauer.

      • Kitten says:

        Me too completely, CynicalAnn. She always came across as very genuine and kind but my god was she ever cringeworthy as cohost.

    • India Rose says:

      Yes. She once reached out and touched Brad Pitt’s face during an interview, which was so inappropriate and cringe worthy. She often came across as forcing sincerity. She was much better behind the news desk.

      However. This statement is perfect. She seems caring, thoughtful and professional. It was wrenching to see her in such pain on her last day. I hope her new program is successful.

    • alsf says:

      she’s was a terrible interviewer, at least on the Today show. I liked her news segments but she drove me crazy when she interviewed people because she constantly interrupted them and spoke over them. It was particularly bad with fluffier interviews.

      She was not really suited for a light show; she would do better in an actual news show.

      • jwoolman says:

        Matt Lauer seemed to do the same thing (interrupting, talking over the other person) on that Commander in Chief thing during the campaign, especially with Hillary.

  8. Guest says:

    I love Ann and would love to see her back. But not at NBC, I agree she would better to take Charlie Rose place.

  9. Nibbi says:

    the premise of her new show sounds super touching and interesting.

  10. Nancy says:

    I like Ann. I don’t think she was necessarily the right person as a co-anchor. She was at her best doing one-on-one interviews, which why she was so good on Dateline. However, when that POS used his power to get rid of her, I left the Today Show with her. Now five years later, when the world knows who the real monster is, I hope she feels vindicated. They are both in the spotlight, hers shining brightly and he with the interrogation light exposing him as the predator he is. I absolutely love when good wins over evil, which is what I am hoping for with trump, that he will finally get his as well. As someone stated, Pandora’s Box is open and Pandora is pissed off.

    • Kitten says:

      She WAS mostly good on Dateline, although a few of her celeb interviews were questionable.

      On a recent episode I noticed that they brought Megyn Kelly onboard. I screamed when I saw her. WHY DATELINE WHY????????

  11. Mar says:

    I truly can’t believe what I read here. My goodness, how could ABC allow this ??? Shame on any person that knew what a pig he was and did nothing about it ( not victims of course).

  12. katie3 says:

    Except for her fawning, syrupy sweet conduct with Brad & Angelina, she was a credible, even engaging journalist and came across as someone who always did her homework.

  13. lightpurple says:

    Know your rights. This link is to the federal EEOC website guidance information. It is the BARE minimum to which employers must comply. Many states have stricter laws so know your state rights too.

  14. Lizzie says:

    you know in these timeline articles NBC tries to make such a big point about how if they didn’t make Ann the co-host of Today she would go to another network but that is BS. if she was such a terrible on-air personality and she was tanking ratings and her outfits were stupid and everyone hated her – who cares if she jumped to another network? wouldn’t that been good for NBC to get rid of the albatross around their neck? i think the truth is that they are totally backtracking to make it look like the whole thing was “just business” when it was just mean assholes torturing a woman trying to do her job.

    • Kitten says:

      No they explained in the links that it would have been an “existential crisis” for the network if both Lauer and Curry left at the same time. So they basically kept Ann for *backup* while they courted Matt, assuring him that if he signed a new contract with NBC that Curry would be toast. Essentially, they used her as a bargaining chip and when they got what they wanted, tossed her out like garbage.

  15. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I completely agree with her picking up Charlie’s role. What a perfect fit and vehicle for her carefully-crafted, generous and heart-felt commentaries.

  16. browniecakes says:

    Another facet to firing Lauer, Rose, etc. is the money savings for their employers. Their big salaries plus who knows how much paid out in settlements to keep their behavior quiet is motivation to keep firing these guys. Why keep them around for an investigation or a leave of absence? The workplace environment improves with the bottom line.

  17. Sadezilla says:

    I hope Ann has a career resurgence if she wants one. She handled that mess, which she appeared to have no fault in, with such grace. Can anyone imagine any of these narcissist men who are getting fired for harassment, which is a result of their own disgusting actions, going down with any grace? I’m looking at you, Garrison Keillor.

  18. Zondie says:

    What Matt and NBC did by ousting Ann Curry was awful. But i don’t care for the way Ann generalized “corporate America” as failing women. It sounds like she’s angling to turn this into talking points for one of her interviews. By federal law, corporations enforce very strict rules about any kind of abuse or prejudice. And most corporations and businesses comply without much incident. Broadcast journalism by contrast, has been notoriously lax- they let Big Ego Matt do whatever he wanted for a very long time! It’s not like they couldn’t replace him; there are thousands of journalists who would jump at the offer. NBC brought this mess on themselves. I don’t know why Ann felt the need to turn this event into an indictment of every company in America when the main offenders have been Hollywood, Capitol Hill and broadcast journalism, all places where big egos and abuse of power flourish.

    • Bridget says:

      Clearly you’ve never worked in Tech. Or Finance.

      • Zondie says:

        @BRIDGET No, I haven’t. I hope they are not havens of abuse to women. I hope no places of employment are. It’s important to have this conversation about power abuse, which occurs to both men and women (but probably more women). It’s just that broadcast journalism has been such a joke forever about power plays and abuse as well as people trying to sleep their way to the top. I doubt most workplaces are as notorious and I don’t think she should equate them.

      • Bridget says:

        Your comment is incredibly off base and incorrect. Sexual abuse is epidemic across all walks of life, all professions. If you thought broadcast journalism was bad, you clearly haven’t been around people that work in tech, finance, restaurants – I can come up with more if you’d like. Rules and regulations are only as strong as those who choose to enforce them, and if I can point out, assuming that there’s no problem in the first place minimizes the experience of those women and actually contributes to these hostile workplaces. I’d strongly suggest you spend some time reading what comes up with #metoo

      • Susan says:

        Sexual harassment happens a lot evenin law firms where the men are lawyers and know what is right and wrong in the workplace without doubt. Ann is completely correct in casting this as a corporate problem without limitation to media.

      • Zondie says:

        @BRIDGET I thought the #metoo referred to sexual assault, as opposed to workplace sexual assault.

  19. Diana says:

    She is so beautiful. Grace, poise, class, intelligence, kindness, compassion…. just a lovely human being inside and out. I want to grow up and be her.

  20. Renee says:

    Matt Lauer is a harassing & assaulting creep. However, Ann Curry does NOT belong on a morning show (in my opinion). She is a great field reporter & human rights storyteller. She should be have a newsmagazine show or specific news segment on a daily show but not an anchor or morning show. You need someone who can segue way from international news to interviewing an actor on a sitcom. It wasn’t Curry’s strong suit. I cringed watching her on the Today Show. She deserves a better forum & one that is suited to her.

  21. Sanchez says:

    Thanks for posting the link to the post from when Ann Curry was fired because I have no idea what happened and I was curious when people referred back to it. I’ve admittedly never watched the Today Show except for a YouTube clip from around Halloween when they were dressed as Star Wars characters and had Ewoks running around which I thought was hilarious.

  22. YankLynn says:

    I agree Renee and others, that Ann Curry made me cringe often when she was on Today show. I thought her firing was a huge mess, agreed, but at the time I hoped she’d find a better spot more suited to her style. Interviewing pop celebrities and then jumping to do the news desk spot was not her forte. I’ve since switched to CBS morning news anyway which I enjoy much more for its ‘newsier’ focus as I’m getting ready for work. If I want cooking or decorating or music video TV I get it from better sources than the Today show.

  23. Bothsidesnow says:

    This is an amazing time. Finally….men are getting the message that women in the workplace are not their little playthings. This has been a long time coming, and I salute women who were finally willing to blow it out of the water. Some of us of a certain age have ALL been harassed during our lifetimes. It’s a new day for women. It’s clear to see who really had a War on Women.