The movement evolved. #HimToo began, which not only highlighted men who have been abused but also fought back against one of the major criticisms of the #MeToo movement, which was the sudden preponderance of false accusations against otherwise innocent men. The abuses of men, real or imagined, no longer faded and instead became a headline after a headline.
The fallout or changes brought on are still being analyzed and interpreted, but one thing is for sure: sexual abuses will no longer be ignored. And so we return to Lauer’s story. Any guesses where this is going?
Before we go on, let's give a little bit of history on something that is about to be important in Lauer's story. In October of 2017, legendary movie producer Harvey Weinstein came under fire from wide-spread and extremely graphic sexual-abuse allegations, and a movement began.
It was Alyssa Milano who first gave it its name, encouraged women around the globe to come forward via social media. This wasn't the first time “Me Too” was used in such a manner, beginning all the way back in 2006 by activist Tarana Burke.
The movement picked up speed. A number of incredibly high-profile women joined the movement, explaining they, too, had been sexually harassed by men in power. The list of women includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, Jennifer Lawrence, and Uma Thurman, and they were just the first to speak up.
Widespread media coverage began to heat Hollywood – where almost all of these powerful men resided – up. Millions of people began to parrot the hashtag (#MeToo), unwilling to let such abuses fade away. Numerous high-profile firings began, the backlash against these men and their companies rose, and there have even been criminal charges.
A female employee at NBC lodged a complaint against Lauer, referring to an incident in 2014. Lauer, the female employee, and plenty of others from NBC were at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The woman – who remains unidentified – complained Lauer behaved most inappropriately with her while the two were in Russia, and the behavior continued once back in the states.
It left the woman feeling uncomfortable and afraid, and in light of the #MeToo movement, she decided enough was enough, and made a complaint to the higher ups. One that even NBC couldn't ignore, given the current climate of abuse.
Before too long it became clear that this had reached farther than just NBC. It turns out that Variety and The New York Times were both doing their own digging after picking up the story – there's nothing like getting a big load of dirt on a business rival.
They were after the full story, and there was no way they were going to stop. It was thanks to these investigations that we learned more about Lauer, including the incredible detail Variety discovered that something like ten other women had also filed allegations against the reporter for similar actions!