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Ann Curry Is 'Still Processing' Matt Lauer Firing News: 'We Need to Make Our Workplaces Safe'

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Ann Curry, the former Today show co-anchor who worked alongside Matt Lauer for more than a decade, is speaking out following the shocking news that Lauer was fired Tuesday evening for alleged inappropriate sexual behavior.

“The women’s movement got us into the workplace, but it didn’t make us safe once we got there,” said Curry, whose own departure from Today was clouded by talk of sexism at the venerable morning show. “And the battle lines are now clear. We need to move this revolution forward and make our workplaces safe. Corporate America is quite clearly failing to do so, and unless it does something to change that, we need to keep doing more ourselves.”

Curry sat down with PEOPLE as part a previously scheduled interview to discuss her upcoming return to television with the PBS docuseries We’ll Meet Again, airing in early 2018, Curry declined to comment specifically about Lauer’s sudden termination, noting, “I’m still really processing it.” However, Curry did share her thoughts on what this latest bombshell signifies to her — and other women.

Ann Curry (left) and Matt Lauer
Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire/Getty

 

The TV news veteran substituted for Lauer before officially becoming Today‘s news anchor in 1997. In 2011, Curry was named co-anchor of the venerated morning show; a little more than one year later, she was fired from the role. Curry tearfully announced her exit on air that June, in a public goodbye that parallel’s Today‘s announcement of Lauer’s departure this morning.

Curry is now focused on her role as executive producer and host of We’ll Meet Again, which reunites people who have lived through traumatic moments with the person who helped them the most. Having gone through her own professional trauma, Curry says her heart goes out to the women who have now come forward to speak out against sexual misconduct of any form.

Ann Curry
David Turnley

“I admire the women who have been willing to speak up both anonymously and on the record. Those women need to keep their jobs, and all women need to be able to work, to be able to thrive, without fear. This kind of behavior exists across industries, and it is so long overdue for it to stop,” she says. “This is a moment when we all need to be a beacon of light for those women, for all women, and for ourselves.”