Managers were unaware of Matt Lauer's behavior

Rose Mc Gowan told The Hollywood Reporter she refused to let NBC run her sexual assault story
Rose Mc Gowan told The Hollywood Reporter she refused to let NBC run her sexual assault story

10 May, 2018

The investigation was led by NBC Universal's general counsel Kim Harris, and focussed on Lauer's behaviour in the workplace and the complaints from four women who came forward in late November previous year. But NBCU is promising to do better, with the report stating that management will "soon will be issuing an updated Company-wide policy to provide greater detail on expectations regarding workplace behavior, to explain the investigations process and to ensure that all management employees understand their obligations to report concerns".

Even though Lauer was known for being "flirtatious" in the workplace, most witnesses reportedly "had positive things to say about Lauer's demeanor in the workplace".

The report also said that, of four women who filed complaints about Mr. Lauer's misbehavior, two believed that senior managers at NBC News and the "Today" show were aware of the anchor's sexual misconduct.

In a memo to employees on Wednesday, NBC News chairman Andrew Lack wrote, "We can not change the past".

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, McGowan says that she was the one who pulled her story from NBC despite the belief that executives at the network had killed it, forcing Ronan Farrow to take his reporting to The New Yorker. We have already begun to turn the page to establish a safer and more respectful environment.

Throughout NBC's investigation, network leadership also denied that former Today co-host Ann Curry had discussed Lauer's behavior with them.

All four women confirmed that they did not tell their direct managers or anyone else in a position of authority about their sexual encounters with Lauer.

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One of the women said that Lauer put his hand on her thigh and made a sexual comment. The team interviewed 68 past and present NBC staffers and reviewed Lauer's emails and text messages, along with those of Today show leadership.

She determined there were no complaints about Lauer prior to the one that led to his firing-three additional women came forward after his termination. The manager, who was not identified, agreed at the time to reassign the woman so that she would not travel alongside Mr. Lauer.

A few employees who did have concerns "assumed nothing would be done to address them... given Lauer's perceived importance to the news division", the report said.

"To truly assess culture and get honest responses from employees, we recommend hiring an independent third party, as is common practice", Press Forward co-founder Eleanor McManus said. "The report tells us something important - that a number of employees feel they can not come forward with harassment allegations".

Curry said she approached two members of NBC's management team after an NBC female staffer told her she was "sexually harassed physically" by Lauer. According to these women, Lauer did not pursue them further when they deflected or ignored the overture, and they did not experience any retaliation. To critics, the button seemed an alarmingly useful tool for predatory behavior, but NBC said it is "a commonly available feature in executive offices" and does not lock the door from the inside.

In a section titled "Culture Assessment", the report states that "the investigation team found current and former NBC News and Today Show leadership, News HR, and others interviewed who were in positions of authority in the News Division to be credible in their denials of knowledge of Lauer's inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace".

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