Ann Curry is “not surprised” at the allegations of abuse by her former Today co-host Matt Lauer. She also called out the “verbal sexual harassment” at NBC. Those were the big revelations when Curry appeared on CBS This Morning, Wednesday, to discuss the Me Too movement and her return to TV.
Curry was asked by co-host Norah O’Donnell if Lauer “abused his power.” She responded, “I can tell you I am not surprised by the allegations.” Speaking of the environment at her former network, Curry condemned, “I would be surprised if many women did not understand that there was a climate of verbal harassment that existed. I think it would be surprising if someone said that they didn't see that. So, it was verbal sexual harassment.”
O’Donnell, whose ex-co-host Charlie Rose was also fired in 2017 for allegedly sexually harassing women, pressed Curry. She answered directly: “You're asking me a very direct question.... I'm an honest person, I want to tell you that it was yes, period.”
Later the journalist said of harassment: “It's happened to me in multiple jobs.”
To summarize, the culture at liberal NBC was one of “verbal sexual harassment.” Liberal CBS employed alleged sexual abuser Rose. Liberal ABC employs Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos, a man who became famous for defending Bill Clinton against claims of sexual harassment and abuse.
It’s a good thing liberal journalists have the moral high ground, huh?
A partial transcript is below:
CBS This Morning
7:31:37NORAH O’DONNELL: And Curry is making a much anticipated return to television. Curry was with NBC’s Today show for 15 years. She co-anchored from 2011 to 2012 before a highly publicized break with the broadcast. Curry left NBC in 2015 and created her own production company. Her new show on PBS is called We’ll Meet Again. It follows people searching for someone they lost to time and history.
[Clip of We’ll Meet Again.]
O’DONNELL: Ann Curry is with us now only on CBS This Morning.
CURRY: Hi, everybody. So great to see you.
GAYLE KING: Welcome.
O’DONNELL: It’s good to see you. It’s great to have you back. We're going to talk a lot about my show but I do think a lot of people want to hear from you as well because this is your first television interview and a lot has changed in the television landscape on morning television in the last three months. Our former co-host Charlie Rose has left. Someone you anchored with, Matt Lauer, has left his broadcast. What do you make of this reckoning?
ANN CURRY: I think it's, in general, overdue. We're clearly waking up to a reality and injustice that's been occurring for some time and I think it will continue to occur until the glass ceiling is finally broken. This is about power, a power imbalance where women are not valued as much as men. I'm not talking about men being attracted to other people. I'm talking about people in the workplace who are powerful, who are abusing that power, and women and men are suffering. And I think the fact that people are speaking out is important. And the fact that we are moving against this imbalance of power is absolutely overdue.
O’DONNELL: Do you believe that Matt Lauer abused his power?
CURRY: You know, I'm trying to do no harm in these conversations. I can tell you I am not surprised by the allegations.
KING: What do you mean by that, Ann? What do you mean that you’re not surprised? You heard things, knew things? What does that mean?
CURRY: That means that — see, I'm walking down that road. I'm trying not to hurt people. I know what it's like to be publicly humiliated. I never did anything wrong to be publicly humiliated and I don't want to cause that kind of pain to somebody else. But I can say that I — because you're asking me a very direct question, I can say that I would be surprised if many women did not understand that there was a climate of verbal harassment that existed. I think it would be surprising if someone said that they didn't see that. So, it was verbal sexual harassment.
KING: All right, let me stick with —
O’DONNELL: Sorry, sorry. She just said verbal sexual harassment was pervasive.
O’DONNELL: At NBC at the time.
CURRY: I don't want to — boy. I don't want to cause more pain. No. You're asking me a very direct question. No. I'm an honest person, I want to tell you that it was, yes, period.
KING: All right. I wanted to pick up on the notion of power because in the court of public opinion, it was viewed that a powerful man, meaning Matt Lauer, derailed your career. I know that in this crazy business of ours, it's their sandbox. By that I mean management. They get to decide who plays. And it can happen to any one of us at any time that we los our jobs. In your particular case, in the court of public opinion, many people thought that Matt Lauer was behind you leaving the Today show. I'd like to know what you feel about that. We've never talked about it and I always wondered. Your last day was very emotional. It was very difficult for you clearly and I don't want to upset you here either.
CURRY: Oh, don't worry. I'm not going start crying. [Laughs.]
KING: Do you believe he was behind —
CURRY: You know, you should ask someone else. I'm not the one to ask about that.
KING: You're the only one to ask about that.
CURRY: No, no, because I don't know what all was behind it. I do know that it hurt like hell, it wasn't a fun moment, I've learned a great deal about myself. I've really at this point let it go. I just let it go, and I think it time — It’s been years and I want to sort of really move on from that. It's — you know, at this point, I'm thinking Hakuna Mata It’s just, sort of, over. But, no. I think, I think that the real question in my view is what are we going to do with all of this anger? And it's not just obviously about where I used to work. It's not about where you're now working. It's about the problem that's pervasive across industries, in workplaces across America and this is actually the issue and the question is ultimately what are we going to do about it? I wonder if we — if we keep focusing over on these individual scandals if we're actually going to move off of that foot into creating something better in the future.
JOHN DICKERSON: Though each of the personal stories add to this new personal conversation. You tweeted "me too" in October. What did you mean?
CURRY: I think what I just said. Sorry, John. The idea that I don't know a single woman — I don't know a single woman who has not endured some form of sexual harassment, and many women have endured workplace sexual harassment. It's happened to me in multiple jobs. And it is a way of sidelining women. You know, it's ultimately not only bad for the women, but it's bad for the companies and bad for our nation because it's limiting of people. Really, ultimately, also, we should be talking about the victims. We're talking about the scandal, the scandal, the scandal. What are we going to do about the victims? What are we going to remove the stigma and shame? What are we going to do to make sure and make sure these women work and not sidelined and prevented from contributing to the greater good that we all are trying to do?