Former 'Today' host Meredith Vieira opens up about firing of Matt Lauer, says she was shocked

As the media world still reels from the surprise firing of Matt Lauer due to sexual misconduct, many of his “Today” show counterparts have spoken out about the situation. The latest to do so was Meredith Vieira, who detailed her experience finding out about her former colleague when the news broke.

Vieira, who was one of the hosts of “Today” from 2006 to 2011, opened up about the scandal in an interview on Andy Cohen’s SiriusXM show “Radio Andy.” The star explained that she was in Los Angeles in January when the news broke. She says that she woke up to several messages and calls in the middle of the night from friends and colleagues in New York informing her of what was happening.

“I was just as shocked as everyone else,” she told Cohen, hinting that she too was unaware of Lauer’s conduct.

While she steered clear of saying too much about Lauer and the situation in general, she did discussed the “#MeToo” movement that was responsible for Lauer and several other powerful men in show business being taken to task for their alleged inappropriate behavior.

“I really appreciate the #MeToo movement, I think it’s long overdue. Clearly there has been a problem that has been ignored and a lot of people have been hurt, and I think they deserve to have their truth told,” she told Cohen. “What I hope happens through all of this is that we create a work place where women and men will feel safe.”

Vieira’s sympathy with the #MeToo movement comes at a good time for her, as The Hollywood Reporter revealed on Monday that her production company is partnering with This Is Just A Test on an initiative to fund and develop documentary projects helmed by female directors. According to the report, documentary filmmakers in 2016 were roughly 67 percent male and only 33 percent female.

“I want to help women get their films made,” she told the outlet. “I want to make more documentaries and I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to support the female filmmakers.”

As previously reported, Lauer was fired by NBC after an employee gave a detailed complaint about his behavior that led to an investigation.