In the annals of awkward ends to television careers, Ann Curry’s June 28, 2012, exit from Today has to rank as one of the most painful.
The Emmy-winning journalist wept openly as she announced she would no longer be co-hosting the show with NBC star Matt Lauer, saying, “I’m sorry I couldn’t carry the ball over the finish line, but, man, I did try!”
What a difference a few years makes. On Nov. 27, 2017, Lauer was fired after multiple allegations of sexual harassment surfaced — and in her first statement since his sacking, Curry has said she isn’t surprised.
Curry appeared on CBS This Morning this past Wednesday, and her interview indicted more than just her former colleague. According to her, sexually charged verbal intimidation was commonplace.
“I’m trying to do no harm in these conversations,” she said. “I can tell you that I am not surprised by the allegations.
“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’d be surprising if someone said that they didn’t see that.”
This Morning hosts Norah O’Donnell, Gayle King, and John Dickerson seemed shocked by her statement.
“Sorry, sorry, I just don’t, I mean, she just said verbal sexual harassment was pervasive,” O’Donnell stuttered.
An obviously reluctant Curry was quick to point out that she didn’t have an ax to grind with CBS. “I don’t want to cause more pain,” she said.
“I’m an honest person. I want to tell you that it was. Yes. Period.”
She also commented on the #MeToo movement, the global backlash against workplace sexual harassment that started when numerous allegations of misconduct by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein came to light.
“We clearly are waking up to a reality, an injustice that has been occurring for some time,” she stated.
“I’m not talking about people 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.”
In the end, though, Curry wants to remembered as someone who showed grace to others. “When you go through the pain and learn the lessons, you will be changed for the better,” she told People.
“I’ve always thought of journalism as a service profession. I’m in it to give, not to get.”
She gave a strong response, being honest but also not gratuitous or vengeful in her commentary. She maintained her poise and told the truth: a great role model for many people.
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