Press Forward, an initiative to stop sexual harassment and assault in newsrooms, released a statement urging NBCUniversal to commission an independent investigation by an outside entity - a step that has also been called for by other activists galvanized by the #MeToo movement. "I told management they had a problem and they needed to keep an eye on him and how he deals with women".
The internal review was conducted by legal counsel at NBCUniversal along with help from two outside legal firms, according to the Times. NBCU chose to conduct an internal investigation of the matter and consulted with two outside law firms - Proskauer Rose and Davis Polk - as part of the process.
In a memo to employees on Wednesday, NBC News chairman Andrew Lack wrote, "We can not change the past".
The internal investigation included almost 70 interviews with current and former employees as well as more than 30 focus groups with 262 current employees, NBC News chairman Andy Lack said in an email to staff. He offered a seven-point plan for "a safer and more respectful environment", including more training for managers, mandatory workplace training, and "constant vigilance, monitoring and measuring progress". In a discussion with the investigation team, Curry confirmed that she did not disclose to anyone in management that she had received a specific complaint.
His accusers told investigators they did not tell their managers or anyone in charge about their interactions with the former "Today" anchor.
Rose McGowan is making new claims about her allegations that she was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein which finally came to light past year.
One of those men accused was Lauer, who had been the host of "Today" show on NBC for years.
This determination by the investigation seems to conflict with public statements by Ann Curry, who came forward in 2012 and said that a woman confided to her that Lauer had sexually harassed her. Curry told NBC management at the time that "they should be concerned about Lauer's behavior toward women", reads the report.
After his firing, three other women came forward with allegations involving Lauer that they said occurred between 2000 and 2007.
But the report also found that investigators "were unable to otherwise substantiate" this, and concludes that "the investigation team does not believe that there is a widespread or systemic pattern of behaviour that violates Company policy or a culture of harassment in the News Division".
It said, "a number of individuals interviewed said that Lauer could be flirtatious, would frequently make jokes, some with sexual overtones, and would openly engage in sexually-oriented banter in the workplace".
The report, sent to NBC employees on Wednesday morning, did include some caveats. Based on these girls, Lauer didn't pursue them additional once they deflected or ignored the overture, and they didn't expertise any retaliation. Curry declined to comment on NBC's recent release.
NBC also addressed Lauer's now-infamous "button", a device under his desk that allowed him to close his office door without standing up. Multiple staffers who spoke to THR said they felt that inquiry should have been outsourced, if only because the optics of an internal inquiry are less than favorable. While this report fails to hold anyone accountable, it does make important recommendations about the next steps - including moving away from computer training to in-person training and strengthening the mechanisms for responding to harassment reports.