NBC Fires 'Today' Show Co-Host Matt Lauer Over Sexual Harassment Allegations

171129-matt-lauer-mc-1227_7efd4c1aa088bf7867b00153d79d43c3.nbcnews-fp-1200-630.jpg

NBC Fires 'Today' Show Co-Host Matt Lauer Over Sexual Harassment Allegations

NBC has fired its leading morning news anchor Matt Lauer over sexual harassment allegations, the network’s president for news said in a memo to staff on Wednesday. 

NBC News chairman Andrew Lack said the accusation against Laurer by a colleague was a "clear violation of our company's standards."

Lack said it was the first complaint lodged against Lauer, 59, since he took over as anchor of the show in 1997, but there was "reason to believe" it wasn't an isolated incident.

Mid-afternoon on Wednesday, Variety dropped a story on its own two-month-long investigation. A key finding of the piece is that Lauer's sexually-predatory behavior was no secret at NBC News. Surely, one concludes, not all the women at NBC could possibly be so shocked over Matt Lauer's alleged behavior. 

It began with the button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from inside without getting up, two accusers told Variety. Gone was the fear of someone walking in on Lauer while he was doing his business. What happened next is every bit as gross as the Charlie Rose allegations. 

According to Variety, Lauer allegedly sexually harassed several female colleagues, including an instance in which he “summoned a . . . female employee to his office, and then dropped his pants, showing her his penis,” then  reprimanding the “visibly shaken” employee for “not engaging in a sexual act.” Three women who identified themselves to Variety as victims of Lauer’s sexual harassment, coupled with dozens of NBC staffers past and present told other stories about NBC's big star, including gifting a female colleague with a sex toy (complete with an “explicit note about how he wanted to use it on her”), inviting young female employees to his hotel room while on assignment covering the Olympics, asking female producers about their sex partners and "offering to trade names" and playing "fuck, marry or kill" with staffers. Lauer was often open about which of his co-stars he'd prefer to sleep with.

And it seems that the married Lauer -- who maintains a distant relationship with his wife -- had an insatiable sexual appetite. 

Boys Club Member Susan Sarandon Tells Women Fighting For Equal Rights To 'Calm Down'

7137-susan-sarandon-guardian-interview-.jpg

Boys Club Member Susan Sarandon Tells Women Fighting For Equal Rights To 'Calm Down'

I haven't even commented on Susan Sarandon's Guardian interview choice words on Hillary Clinton.Every day cannot be a day of rage. But none other than W Magazine does a short, brilliant summary of the SS/Guardian interview and reminds us why so many of us loathe this woman. If a guy was making these statements, he would be out of business.

Susan Sarandon, infamously, wasn't with her. She's also not joining the #MeToo movement, and she doesn't like to call herself a feminist (she's more of a humanist, thank you very much). Indeed, the ever outspoken Sarandon has a lot of contrarian opinions, as evidenced by her latest interview with The Guardian. She claims that things "wouldn’t be much smoother" if Hillary Clinton would have won the election, and that there were still a lot of women out there who must've been flattered to be sleeping with Harvey Weinstein and James Toback. Yet, oddly, she also admits to telling women fighting for the Equal Rights Movements to "calm down," and isn't afraid to tell her gay friends about which politicians really are pro-gay.

In Burkina Faso, French President Macron Addresses Restitution Of African Heritage From Museums

macron-returning-african-art-112917-.png

In Burkina Faso, French President Macron Addresses Restitution Of African Heritage From Museums

In a speech delivered on a visit to the West African republic of Burkina Faso, French president Emmanuel Macron has promised to make the restitution of French-owned African heritage a priority over the next five years.  Saying that he wants “the conditions to be met for the temporary or permanent restitution of African heritage to Africa”, Macron also spoke to the audience of about 800 students at the University of Ouagadougou about his desire to promote the mobility of talented people between Europe and Africa.

Notably, Macron's comments are at odds with a formal request made in March 2017 to then French President François Hollande, writes artnet News. Lawmakers and civil society groups from Benin wrote an open letter asking for the return of a host of "colonial treasures" 

French President Macron Promises Gender Equality Reforms As France Reexamines Its Own Treatment Of Women

macron-violence-against-women-112517-.png

French President Macron Promises Gender Equality Reforms As France Reexamines Its Own Treatment Of Women

French president Emmanuel Macron observed the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women with a minute of silence for the 123 French women killed by their partner or ex-partner in 2016.

The #MeToo movement and the Harvey Weinstein scandal in America have provoked a rethinking of attitudes about sexual harassment in France, known worldwide as the "land of seduction and romance",writes Reuters. 

Unlike Donald Trump, who is trying to roll back women's rights advancements in America with increased legislation around women's reproductive health and a deep plunge in the appointments of women in his cabinet and inner circle and the federal judiciary, Macron campaigned on a platform of rethinking sexual politics and gender equality in France as part of his five-year-mandate.

Proposals that could be included in a 2018 draft law include criminalizing street harassment and extending the statute of limitation for the rape of minors to 30 years from 20 years. France has no minimum age of sexual consent and Macron is personally in favor of setting the age of sexual consent at 15. 

Squirming Over His Support For Roy Moore, Trump Now Suggests That His 'Access Hollywood' Tape Is A Fake

roy-moore-alabama-.png

Squirming Over His Support For Roy Moore, Trump Now Suggests That His 'Access Hollywood' Tape Is A Fake

The Times reports: "He sees the calls for Mr. Moore to step aside as a version of the response to the now-famous Access Hollywood tape, in which he boasted about grabbing women’s genitalia, and the flood of groping accusations against him that followed soon after. He suggested to a senator earlier this year that it was not authentic, and repeated that claim to an adviser more recently. "(Note that in the hours after the tape was released in October 2016, Trump acknowledged that the voice was his, and he apologized.)

Republican candidate Moore is accused by eight women of pursuing romantic relationships with them when they were teenagers. At the time he was an assistant district attorney in his 30s. Two of the women have accused Moore of assault or molestation, which he vehemently denies. 

Besides Trump's endorsement of Roy Moore for the Senate, Trump feels the need to back the popular argument among Alabama men, asking why the women didn't come forward sooner. Numerous stories confirm that Trump doesn't believe the women accusing Moore, just as he accuses all the women alleging sexual misconduct by him as being liars. 

Jessica Chastain On Molly Bloom: "She Doesn't Trade Romance For Leverage" | Town & Country December 2017

Town and Country US December 2017 7.jpg

Actor Jessica Chastain covers the December 2017 issue of Town & Country, styled by Nicoletta Santoro. Photographer Matthew Brookes flashes the star of 'Molly Bloom' in 'Catch Her If You Can./ Hair by Didier Malige; makeup by Fulvia Farolfi

Surprise, surprise, writer Tim Teeman reveals in his interview with Chastian, the actor takes the Hampton Jitney to the Hamptons. 

"This is quite the caper," Chastain marvels, as she and Teeman speed around Manhattan with her assistant picking up weekend essentials. "One might have assumed that a famous Hollywood actress—she received Oscar nominations for her roles in The Help and Zero Dark Thirty and is in the midst of launching a major campaign for a new Ralph Lauren fragrance—would prefer a more private mode of transport to the Hamptons."

Chastain, who wore her pink pussy hat to the Women's March in DC in January, married  Italian count and fashion exec Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo at his family’s Treviso estate this past summer.

Plus, the cloak-and-dagger feel to our chaotic afternoon echoes, if unintentionally, her latest big project, the film 'Molly’s Game'. Aaron Sorkin’s movie-directing debut tells the story of former champion skier Molly Bloom, who came to run high-class, high-stakes poker games in Hollywood and New York at which the players included Tobey Maguire, Ben Affleck, and Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as art world scion Helly Nahmad (who would later be jailed for his part in the illegal ring).