The firing of Today host Matt Lauer by NBC News for allegations of sexual assault sparked controversy among Twitter users who revisited a troubling interview between the former host and Anne Hathaway. The actress visited Today in 2012 to promote Les Miserables following controversial paparazzi photos taken at the film’s premiere a few days earlier.
Lauer decided to start the interview with addressing the intrusive upskirt photo which was taken by paps as Hathaway was exiting a car at the red carpet event. Lauer, addressing the wardrobe malfunction, started off with a questionable “Seen a lot of you lately,” which many Twitter users are calling completely inappropriate. To make matters worse, the former Today host asked Hathaway what she “learned” from the incident, which several people on Twitter pointed out insinuated there was blame on her part.
Hathaway remained professional as always when she steered from the interview’s entry point to discuss how the incident was a sad reflection of society. She told Lauer, “It was obviously an unfortunate incident. It kind of made me sad on two accounts. One was that I was very sad that we live in an age when someone takes a picture of another person in a vulnerable moment and rather than delete it, and do the decent thing, sells it…” and Hathaway wasn’t finished.
Hathaway then steered the conversation back to the purpose of her appearance on Today; to promote her critically acclaimed film Les Miserables, for which she ultimately took home an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. “I’m sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants, which brings us back to Les Mis,” Hathaway said evenly. “That’s what my character is, she is someone who is forced to sell sex to benefit her child because she has nothing and there’s no social safety net… so let’s get back to Les Mis.”
Wait, the guy who said, “Seen a lot of you lately” to Anne Hathaway after some creep snapped an upskirt photo of her was sexually inappropriate in the workplace? #today #mattlauerfired pic.twitter.com/msxT3VwNhY
— Rosaleen O'Mahony (@RosaleenOMahony) November 29, 2017
Hathaway is being commended for the way she was able to remain professional and control the conversation while bringing up relevant points regarding sexual harassment and its normalization in society.
Anne hathaway said "I'm sorry we live in a culture that commodifies the sexuality of unwilling participants" to matt lauer like 6 YEARS AGO
— Christine (@christine_sayss) November 30, 2017
The tone of the interview was already viewed as incredibly uncomfortable and unprofessional, but with the recent sexual assault allegations against Lauer, Twitter is calling it indicative of the host’s attitude towards women and also just downright creepy. Some people on Twitter referred to the interview and Lauer as “disgusting” or “sleazy.”
Now other clips are emerging with a similar tone that are putting Lauer’s questionable behavior in the spotlight. One is a snippet during an interview with Lauer’s co-host Katie Couric, in which she tells Andy Cohen back in 2012 that the most annoying thing about Lauer was that he pinched her behind, as well as a behind-the-scenes video where Lauer compliments Meredith Vieira on her sweater but then adds, “Keep bending over like that. It’s a nice view.” Many Twitter users don’t feel these videos are the last of it and say they’re expecting similar clips to surface in upcoming days.
Somewhere Anne Hathaway is asking "What lesson did you learn, Matt Lauer?"https://t.co/9VkQ1CUPQz
— Heather Havrilesky (@hhavrilesky) November 29, 2017