Katie Couric says Matt Lauer scandal 'hit very close to home'

Gibson Johns

Katie Couric shared where she stands on the Matt Lauer sexual misconduct scandal over the weekend during TheWrap's Power Women Breakfast at SXSW in Austin, Texas.

Speaking candidly during the event, the former "Today" show co-anchor revealed that Lauer's actions and subsequent firing "hit close to home" for her, as she has also experienced her fair share of "sexist" culture and work environments throughout her career.

"I certainly dealt with sexist environments and environments that marginalized and didn’t give women their due, and didn’t treat women as intellectual equals, but it’s hit very close to home with Matt Lauer and what happened there," Couric said, as Page Six reports. "It’s been an important experience for me because I never faced this kind of treatment. I was one of the lucky ones -- I think I am harassable and I’m not harassable in that sense, and I think it is because I was in a position of power early in my career."

Couric continued to share her thoughts about her former colleague, reminiscing on their "wonderful working relationship" -- they worked on "Today" together from 1994 through 2006, when Couric left the show -- while also expressing that she expects the disgraced news veteran to learn from the experience.

See photos of Matt Lauer and Katie Couric together:

"I hope he’s trying to figure out and understand his behavior and why he did it and why it was so wrong," she remarked. "It’s shocking, honestly, and disturbing, disorienting, disheartening -- all of those d-words. But I think, he’s not the only one who behaves in this way […] Cultures have existed in the media, and in every arena, where behaviors were tolerated, people looked the other way, it was an accepted way of doing business. I don’t think people paid much attention to it."

The beloved television personality initially took nearly two months to publicly react to Lauer's firing, which happened at the end of November. In a revealing interview with People magazine in January, Couric called the reveal of his alleged behavior "very painful."

"This was not the Matt we knew," she said. "The whole thing has been very painful for me. "The accounts I’ve read and heard have been disturbing, distressing and disorienting and it’s completely unacceptable that any woman at the ‘Today’ show experienced this kind of treatment."

"I had no idea this was going on during my tenure or after I left," Couric went on. "I think I speak for many of my former colleagues when I say this was not the Matt we knew. Matt was a kind and generous colleague who treated me with respect. In fact, a joke I once made on late-night television was just that, because it was completely contrary to our brother-sister relationship. It’s still very upsetting. I really admire the way Savannah [Guthrie] and Hoda [Kotb] and the entire ‘Today’ show staff have handled a very difficult situation."

See more photos of Matt Lauer:

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