Matt Lauer is the latest Hollywood insider to be taken down for previous handsy action, just yesterday getting the boot from Today for what NBC News stated was “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.” Only one official complaint has been filed, but NBC News also added: "We were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident." While everything from doting eye contact to awkward hotel masturbation to statutory rape has been conflated as "sexual assault" or "inappropriate sexual behavior" - leaving us to wonder what, exactly, men like Lauer were up to - we now know from a 2012 clip uncovered by TMZ that former Today cohost Katie Couric was physically touched by Lauer in the form of then hilarious, now dead ass serious, ass pinching. When asked by shameless exploiting howler monkey Andy Cohen:
What is Matt's most annoying habit?
Couric responded with:
Hmm, he pinches me on the ass a lot.
Couric's inflection puts a question mark at the end of her sentence, and her cringy face makes it feel as though she's admitting something that might be more serious to her than to Cohen and the rest of the world in the carefree early 2010's. Before all the rape knowledge. The Internet is running with Couric's previous confession, and surely enough scouring will uncover more proof of Lauer's misconduct that will help give people something to gossip about while they wait to die.
While there are a million ways to unpack yet another sex scandal in the making in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein crap, I have a theory that we'll just file under "unpopular opinion," that I'm sharing because we need to mix things up: You can't be sexually assaulted by an attractive person. Go ahead and set that in stone. One of the commonalities of most freshly-minted Hollywood predators is that they're ugly as holy hell, and a "compliment" worth texting your thirsty gal pals over comes from a hot guy, and a "cat call" comes from a three-hundred-pound hourly security guard funneling Gardettos and orange soda on his break. Give or take. But yeah, that's my theory.
In 2002 - ten years before Couric's ass pinching expose - Lauer trimmed his hair, revealing a receding hairline and the fact that he looked like a penis. People Magazine reported that the look led to a "breakout of giggles from his cohost Katie Couric" and that comments from viewers ranged from "Is he ill?" to "He looks awful." Not making that up. I believe in the decade following his hair chop, Lauer's games of grab ass gradually felt less flirtatious and more predatory in the eyes of female coworkers as his looks faded. Would Lauer have been accused of “inappropriate sexual behavior," and thus fired from his hosting gig at NBC, had he not turned bald and ugly? Maybe not. Maybe not. Moral: Date down? Don't be ugly like Matt Lauer? Katie Couric has a hot pinchable ass? IDK.
Photo Credit: Getty Images, TMZ