Ann Curry on being fired 8 years ago: I know I did nothing wrong

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When Meredith Vieira left Today, veteran reporter Ann Curry was selected to fill the co-anchor seat next to the now disgraced Matt Lauer. Ann remained as the co-anchor for only one year. And it was an awkward, uncomfortable year at that. Even at the time, most people suspected Lauer’s Machiavellian machinations behind Ann’s ousting. Nothing gave more evidence to that than Ann’s final appearance on Today when she was physically repulsed by Lauer’s touch on camera and basically admitted she was being forced out. Since her departure, Lauer has finally been outed for the predator he is and Ann, although classy, has not hidden the fact that Lauer’s been a creep his whole career. So, with all we know now, what happened that resulted in Ann losing her job? In a recent interview, Ann said she still has no idea.

Eight years after Ann Curry made her exit from Today, the journalist is still asking questions about her abrupt firing from the NBC morning show.

In a new interview for Elle’s September issue, Curry, 63, revealed that her departure from the show “still hurts.”

“I still don’t really understand,” she said about her firing from the show. “I know I did nothing wrong. I know I was good at my job.”

After barely a year of co-hosting Today with Matt Lauer, Curry left the NBC morning show in 2012 — an ordeal that was rumored to have been caused in part to a lack of “chemistry” with Lauer. At the time, there were also reports claiming he had played a part in forcing Curry out.

“The bottom line is that it still hurts,” she said. “It honestly hurts really deeply, because I really think I did nothing wrong.”

While her exit from the show was a painful experience, Curry said leaving Today had a silver lining. “But in spite of the pain of it, which still lingers, I know that I contributed to some people suffering less,” she said.

Curry added, “But I tell you, it was tough. It was hard to walk that line, to not add more [suffering]. Boy, oh boy, was it tough.”

[From People]

I used the People excerpt because it’s more concise but the whole interview Ann gave to Elle is very good and worth the time to read. I really felt what Ann was saying. I have many insecurities, but I am fairly confident when it comes to my work ethic. I’ve been asked back or rehired by many companies after I’d left. But I was let go from one bartending position and to this day, I have no idea why. A lot of evidence points to the owner just not liking me, but I was a great bartender for her restaurant and my customers loved me. I was also unfailingly honest, so it wasn’t that. But one day she called me to tell me she’d given my shifts away and the only shifts available to me were those that conflicted with my school schedule, which she knew. It was an insignificant bartending job at a restaurant that went out of business within a year and two other restaurants offered me shifts as soon as they heard I was available. But even now, 24 years later, it still hurts. And my story isn’t even a fraction of what Ann went through. I can’t believe Ann isn’t shouting from the middle of Times Square to any reporter who will listen how she was screwed. But that’s the point, I don’t think Ann cares about the bs, her removal from that role and the public discussion about it cast a cloud over the work she’d done and that was extremely unfair to Ann. Her thoughts on this make perfect sense to me, that it doesn’t matter who liked her or why, she was irreproachable in her role and that should have stood above everything else.

When Lauer’s seedy underside was publicly exposed, we learned that Ann had gone to management on behalf of a few of his victims and diligently fought for their protection. And yet, Lauer left Today with a huge severance and a book deal while Ann is, eight years later, still trying to find a prominent position in news. So let’s never forget what a boys club these networks are and how far they will go not only to protect their own, but to destroy the poor, good people fighting the system. Like I said, it’s a good interview and worth your time. But it will also leave a pit in your stomach wondering where the justice for Ann is.

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Photo credit: Ann Curry’s Instagram and WENN/Avalon

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21 Responses to “Ann Curry on being fired 8 years ago: I know I did nothing wrong”

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  1. FHMom says:

    I feel for Anne. She seems like a genuinely caring person. Lauer was to blame for her dismissal, and that completely sucks. However, I personally didn’t think she was well suited for that job, but maybe that’s just me.

    • BnLurkN4eva says:

      Then they should have told her that and explained that she wasn’t right for the position. This wasn’t why she was let go in such a humiliating way. There are ways to let someone go that doesn’t involve sabotage and NBC didn’t find one of those many ways to let Ann go. This will always bother me because, I think she would have handled it better if she was told that she wasn’t a good fit for the role or something similar.

    • SamC says:

      I commented below with the same thought. From what I recall, Ann Curry had it put in her contract that she would get the co-host position when Meredith Viera left, in part because thought she was going to be named co-host when Katie Couric left. Ann Curry has many talents and her departure was handled poorly, but she was a bad fit for the co-host role.

    • MM2 says:

      Ann did the news at the Today Show for years & was great. She was cohost next to a sleaze who hated her & people didn’t like it??? I don’t think she was the ingredient that was rotten. I watched that show my entire life & Ann killed it with everyone….except Matt, but he was the issue. I never watched again after she was outed in such a cruel way. She was a good fit for the cohost role, just not next to him, but he was the one that should have been fired.

  2. SamC says:

    Ann Curry seems like a lovely person; a high school friend and her family did one of those fulfill a wish segments with her and had a great experience.
    However while she is a good reporter, I do not think she was a good morning show host. Even when Lauer wasn’t there, or when she was subbing before getting the job officially, she just didn’t have whatever “it” factor you seem to need for that slot. NBC shouldn’t have promised her the job when Meredith Viera left.

  3. Darla says:

    I can’t talk about Lauer without sounding like I need to be put in prison for his safety, so…

  4. TQ says:

    Ann Curry is such a class act. She was totally screwed over by Lauer and was undoubtedly the best journalist on the show. I met her once at some NYC political event about 10 years ago and she was super nice and funny. Wish her all the best.

    • CoKatie says:

      When it happened, I said to close women friends:. Let this be your wake-up call. After all these years of fighting for equality (or at least some semblance of fairness) in a work environment, be completely clear on one thing:. The man is always protected no matter how senior or how good you are.

      Ann Curry was a class act and a true talent in broadcasting. The way she was treated was appalling (I’ll never forget her tearful good bye on live TV). This should never been allowed to happen. Matt Lauer and his male, senior managers are abhorrent. His horrible behavior was eventually outed, but he was still awarded with his golden parachute and to THIS DAY still thinks he can make a comeback.

      For those of us who have been in the work field since the ’70′s or ’80′s, an older woman always quietly let you know that no matter what happened, never let them see you cry. That was drilled into me and I drilled it into all the wonderful women who came behind me. Too many instances to record here.

      For Ann to break down on TV like that, it just broke my heart. Those freaking bastards. She needs to come out on top. She deserves it.

  5. SJR says:

    She was treated unfairly. Period.
    I still think Matt Lauer had it in for her, made her uncomfortable on air on purpose and yes he did get her fired. He threw his weight around to get rid of her. She knew he was a pig, tried to go to the PTB and do the right thing, Lauer got her fired. Simple as that.

    She looks lovely in these pictures, and I hope she is happy.
    Matt Lauer is a pig, and a rapist and he should be in a jail cell.
    I feel for his children, can you imagine learning how he behaved and knowing all your friends at school know too?

  6. mynameispearl says:

    This is superficial, but my God how is she in her 60s!! She is so so young looking!

  7. Betsy says:

    I admit that I did not like Ann Curry on the Today Show, like at all, but she was screwed. over. It is a boys’ club and it’s disgusting. Not that I have an opinion about the shows currently; I haven’t watched morning tv in ten years.

    • Starkille says:

      Yes it’s these ridiculous “morning shows” that are the problem. They really need to not be a thing. Who is actually their target audience? Most people are working or taking care of their children during the hours they air. I would say pensioners but the handful of times I’ve inadvertently caught one of these inane shows they definitely don’t seem to be the target audience.

      • Betsy says:

        Like I wouldn’t mind morning babble – the weather, the big news stories, etc. – but the shows are just so stupid. And then they’d try to be “hard hitting;” I don’t need hard hitting in the morning. It was the worst part of both worlds.

  8. lucy2 says:

    Lauer was threatened by her for some reason, and pushed her out. I hope she feels some sense of justice knowing that his crimes were exposed and he’s gone now too, but she never should have lost her job because of him.

    • Mumbles says:

      I have a different take. I don’t think he felt threatened, I just think he’s a pig, and the kind of man who views women mostly as objects to have sex with, and every woman is viewed in that prism, so if they’re not harassing them for sex, they’re dismissing them as useless (a lucky few get to be pals because “they’re cool as women go.”) New York magazine did a profile on the situation at the Today show when this went down. Lauer was enabled by the brass and producers, who all mocked Ann for her occasional flubs (which many people on TV do), or her clothes (she wore a yellow sweater once and someone hung up a flier comparing her to Big Bird.)

      My blood boils when I think back to when Ann was announcing her departure and Lauer pretended to be sad. It wasn’t enough he drove her to it, he had to pour salt in the wound with that mindf*ck.

      Maybe it wasn’t a good fit for her – I liked her fine, but I like her work since even better – but the show should have gave the woman her dignity.

  9. JanetDR says:

    I liked her on the show both for news and as co-anchor and haven’t watched it since she was forced out. It was obvious that Matt was the problem.

  10. Bella A A says:

    I love her and used to watch the show solely for her. Matt always talked over people and never really listened, and also he was so smug. About what, I am not sure?!!

  11. Falafel says:

    I remember watching clips of her farewell and smarmy Matt’s body language was just cold and distant, a huge contrast to that of the weather guy (sorry, I know he is a huge public figure in the US but I am Australian and I can’t remember his name). She was crying and very upset. All the stuff that’s since come to light about Matt kind of underscores her point! Even if you don’t think you have “chemistry” with someone or even if you think she’s not charismatic enough, there are nicer ways to go about it.

  12. Meg says:

    Your boss sounds like she didnt have reason to fire you so she had to make it seem like your availability just didnt work with their needs when it used to- she just gave the shifts to other employees. How petty.
    You can only work with people youre best friends with? You cant just be respectful to a coworker during work then go your separate ways?
    I remember getting a job that ended up being very few hours so i let them know id need a second job and can they let me know when they wont be scheduling me so i can let another employer know of my availability? and they said no, we hired you because you said your availability was open. but i said that while interviewing for the job, before they told me theyd only be scheduling me for 15 hours max a week. I cant live on that. Can you give me more hours? NO. So you expect me to be available constantly but only get paid for 15 hours? How do you expect anyone to live on this? You dont want to have to consider my availability to make it easier on you when creating the schedule so i have to sacrifice making a living? It was unreasonable and selfish. I showed up for my next shift and i noticed a coworker still there and she said she was scheduled for this shift. I said i saw i was but i went back to the break room to see if id misread the schedule and i hadnt. I spoke to a supervisor who fired me on the spot. then made me sit there and wait for my last paycheck while she joked around with a coworker in front of me.
    It was so odd and my mother kept asking if something else had happened to explain them firing me like the victim blamer she was, no sometimes people are just irrational.