In light of Matt Lauer's firing this week from TODAY, Padma Lakshmi is speaking out. As a caption to an Instagram post showing a photo of herself on a TODAY set alongside Lauer, she wrote an impassioned and lengthy caption summarizing her views.
"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," she began.
She continued with her impressions of the host: "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."
She then shared her own experiences with things that happen behind the scenes in professional environments. "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," she wrote. "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."
She closed with the hashtag #MeToo.
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