I want Matt Lauer back even if his wife doesn’t

Linda Cummins
A&F Staff Writer
lcummins@unca.edu

Editor’s note: If you are at all triggered by sexual assault, please use caution when reading this piece. In addition, opinions expressed in this article only represent those of the individual writer and not the editorial staff as a whole.

For 20 plus years Matt Lauer treated me better than my own husband. He was there every morning during my coffee-time, a break I held dear to my heart as an overworked homemaker. OK, it lasted longer than your average break but that is beside the point.

Matt had qualities my husband did not. He was always funny first thing in the morning, always knew everything going on in the world at any given moment, which made him a fantastic conversationalist. Technically, not with me but still. And that smile. Can we ever forget that smile? Apparently, The Today Show wants to forget the mistake they made hiring him in the first place and wiped the smile right off of Matt’s face when he lost the sweet $25 million gig he had going.

One minute Matt was on the sofa next to me, the next he was gone. You could almost see his smoke trail, like a jet piercing the sky. That is how Rochelle Clement, Highsmith food court cashier, felt. Although not a long time follower of Matt like I was, she also felt how fast his presence left the room.

“I’m all for the women if they have proof,” Clement said. “I would say something right then.”

The accusations have flown through the air faster than a comet. But are they true? Have any been proven beyond a shadow of doubt? Call me a skeptic, but I only hear one side of the story coming out.

Lauer, excuse the name shift here, he was Matt when we were all cozy on the sofa. Now he is just Lauer to me. His wife uses a different name now too, I heard.

Lauer publicly admitted there is enough truth to the statements that he is embarrassed and ashamed. But is he guilty? And of what? Did his contract include a morals clause? One woman at least has admitted to their affair being consensual. How many more were looking to perhaps become the next Mrs. $25 million? Also, weren’t these adult women? Were they not capable of simply saying no or reporting him? Plenty of lawyers would have jumped at the opportunity, pro bono no less. At the risk of sounding as if I am taking the side of Satan himself, was not Lauer in essence hired for this job based on his charisma? Is NBC really all that surprised that the man they hired to charm the masses turned that talent on women closest to him?

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances. I do not know about you, but I sure would have welcomed some attention from old Matty Boy. Oh there’s that name shift again. See, he’s back on the sofa with me.

His wife sure did have a morals clause and now she is hurrying up divorce proceedings. Damn, 19 years and three kids, she is done with sharing.

Lauer has not disclosed if his activities were in legal terms, quid pro quo. But I bet he is getting familiar with a lot of legal terms now.

According to Shelby Burleson, a junior senior political science student, that is how it should be.

“I think even though he’s a very prominent face in media, it is important to set a precedent and say that is not going to happen in this company,” Burleson said.

Quid pro quo basically means when he said, “Hurry it up darlin’” he added, “or you’ll lose your job.” It only takes one instance of that, according to the EEOC, to file legal action. The actual numbers of people, not just women, who have experienced workplace sexual harassment are all over the board. Some surveys list one in three workers, others report finding higher statistics. But to the person it happens to, none of that matters. They are the only statistic that counts. Should they report it? Will they lose their job if they report it?

Guilty parties need to be held accountable and victims may have to decide whether the job or potentially walking away is worth more.

Determining if you are being sexually harassed is not always so black and white. Is it one too many sexual jokes bantered around the office, but purportedly not intended for you?

Is it when your boss comes to your desk and announces he’s a player, like what happened to me? I simply said, “Well, I’m not,” and turned away, thinking, “Did he just say what I think he really meant?”

I never filed a complaint. Well, who would I have filed it with? The company was a publisher with only a few employees, just us and the boss. No one to act as a buffer there in that chain of command.

What I did not know is how easy it is to file a discrimination complaint with the EEOC. They will not take complaints over the phone, but you can speed up the process by calling 1-800-669-4000 to submit the information. They will then forward your complaint to the local field office, which will schedule an appointment with you. Supporting documentation, such as copies of harassing emails and poor performance evaluations (did Lauer give any of those?) are suggested. Making a complaint in a timely manner could help.

2 thoughts on “I want Matt Lauer back even if his wife doesn’t

  • February 1, 2018 at 10:28 am
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    I have three younger brothers, I am 48, Hap is 46, Jon is 42 and Anthony is 39.
    We have led completely different lives. Ok I have.
    I have had consensual sex since the time I was eight and most of my adult life. I am still best buddies with all of the people I had consensual sex. No one paid me for silence, I know right .
    My memories are all great memories except a few.. Did I report any of this no. I would never, because it was CONSENSUAL. Yes there are awful memories just a couple, which is funny because from 1993 until 1996 I was a stripper. I had no self esteem, my parents did an incredibly psychological number on me. By 1996, as my father dragged me from a club and we went into a treatment center.i was cocky and the self esteem is one of the best because I was a stripper no one ever dared to put a finger on me and back then I had no body guard for heaven sake, I walked in the club and excited with anywhere from 80 dollars up to 5-700. Though now had a horrid drinking problem. All of my brothers watched me and learned.No they ( well maybe) are not complete saints, but what I am saying is this, WOMEN this is FOR YOU.All men, ok not all, but most think about sex, 85 percent of men, are ready and willing to go at it now, and every second afterwards. Ladies this is normal. But before you think about calling someone out after you believe they have victimized you.
    1. This man will loose his job, his wife, his family all his money, the house and dog and again all monies. He will never get a job again. So before reveling an already settled and paid off, settled legally though it is only a letter for silence and you have signed something, 10, 20 30 thousands of money already paid, You feel it’s ok to come out and tell the world, are you going to come out now in 2018, to make sure the already consensual, taken care of and settled, to come out 20 plus years and do this all-over again. It was over long long ago. So man up ladies, look in the mirror and think to yourself am I going to tell the post, or CNN, or the Megan Kelly show, MSNBC, and more, think and look in the mirror. All of the me too women should have gotten together and get group therapy for at least five years and the psycologist, would then tell each one what his recommendation is. Then and only then that psycologist should be the one to a hire attorney’s for the women he thinks are credible and have not been settled so far. IF ITS BEEN SETTLED NO MATTER YESTERDAY OR TWENTY YEARS AGO, YOU ARE DONE THATS IT, CANT DO THIS TO THE GUY AGAIN BECAUSE, women this is for you, it’s over. You may not do this again to the man you have been paid off for. You signed the statement and signed it, ok maybe to save the job or water, but ITS DONE AND OVER.

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