Padma Lakshmi Says It ‘Felt Like Someone Had Died’ At Today Following Matt Lauer’s Firing

padma discusses matt firing

There’s no denying that the Today team is shaken up by Matt Lauer‘s sexual misconduct scandal.

As you’ve likely heard, the seasoned newsman has been let go from NBC News as a colleague made a detailed complaint about the former’s “inappropriate sexual behavior.” Since the firing, several women have come forward to detail unsavory encounters they’ve had with Lauer.

Related: Matt Addresses His NBC News Termination

This scandal has certainly made waves through 30 Rock, where Today is filmed, and Padma Lakshmi witnessed the fall out first hand. On Wednesday, the Top Chef host revealed that she was on her way to Today, to do a cooking segment with Matt, when she learned about the ousting.

In a somber statement on Instagram, Lakshmi shared:

“I must say that in all the many years I have been on the @TodayShow I have only experienced a warm, cordial and respectful environment. When I walked into 30 Rock it felt like someone had died. The mood was somber to say the least, shell shocked would be more accurate. Like finding out your dad has been cheating on your mom and the happy family you thought you were living in is in fact broken.”

Man, oh man. While the celebrated foodie defended that Lauer had only ever been “empathic, kind, totally appropriate, and respectful” towards her, she accepted that her friend’s firing was necessary. She continued:

“But as someone who has experienced sexual assault and sexual harassment I know how hard it is to come forward or even properly process that it is indeed happening to you. Especially when it’s someone who holds such a high place in one’s profession. I don’t know who the women who have come forward are but I can tell you how hard it is to even admit that it’s actually happened. You feel utterly intimidated and often blame yourself. There is little upside for a victim speaking out. And as a victim myself I am thankful they did.”

Well said. Regardless, this is definitely a sad time for those associated with Today. Padma concluded:

“I am deeply saddened about Matt as I am saddened about @CharlieRose, two people I have very much looked up to in television. Their presence and contributions to our industry will be sorely missed. But I stand in solidarity with the victims. And while this is a painful period in our cultural history, it is a good and necessary purging of one of the most harmful aspects of the ├óΓé¼╦£old boys club’. There is always pain when the thorn gets pulled out of the flesh. But only when it’s gone can the healing begin. #MeToo.”

Be sure to take a look at Padma’s poignant words in their entirety (below).

This morning I woke up expecting to do a cooking segment on the Today show with my friend @MattLauerNBC. Driving uptown I was in shock as I heard the news of his dismissal due to allegations of sexual misconduct at work. As I watched @SavannahGuthrie read Andy Lack’s statement, I was utterly shaken up. I must say that in all the many years I have been on the @TodayShow I have only experienced a warm, cordial and respectful environment. When I walked into 30 Rock it felt like someone had died. The mood was somber to say the least, shell shocked would be more accurate. Like finding out your dad has been cheating on your mom and the happy family you thought you were living in is in fact broken. I must say that in all the years I have known Matt, and worked with him on the Today show, I have never found him to be anything but empathic, kind, totally appropriate, and respectful of me; a consummate professional. But as someone who has experienced sexual assault and sexual harassment I know how hard it is to come forward or even properly process that it is indeed happening to you. Especially when it’s someone who holds such a high place in one’s profession. I don’t know who the women who have come forward are but I can tell you how hard it is to even admit that it’s actually happened. You feel utterly intimidated and often blame yourself. There is little upside for a victim speaking out. And as a victim myself I am thankful they did. I am deeply saddened about Matt as I am saddened about @CharlieRose, two people I have very much looked up to in television. Their presence and contributions to our industry will be sorely missed. But I stand in solidarity with the victims. And while this is a painful period in our cultural history, it is a good and necessary purging of one of the most harmful aspects of the ‘old boys club’. There is always pain when the thorn gets pulled out of the flesh. But only when it’s gone can the healing begin. #MeTooA post shared by Padma Lakshmi (@padmalakshmi) on Nov 29, 2017 at 1:21pm PST

[Image via NBC/Today/YouTube.]

Nov 30, 2017 2:21pm PDT

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