Angry at the wave of unnamed sources used to describe her Today co-host, Kathie Lee Gifford gathered hundreds of signatures for a newspaper ad that was meant to show support for Matt Lauer.
EW confirmed that Gifford asked cast and crew to sign an open letter, which Lauer ultimately nixed as an advertisement. He asked Gifford to keep it “in the family” instead, reports the New York Daily News.
The letter read: “We the people of the Today show who work side by side, day by day, year in and year out with Matt Lauer are tired of unfounded and unrelenting stories by faceless characters regarding his character and reputation. No one has coerced us to sign this. With our signatures we stand in support of our colleague and friend.”
Signatures on the letter included Today’s Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker, Willie Geist and Hoda Kotb.
“We read the same newspapers and saw all the media reports, and it was frustrating for all of us watching it day to day and feeling a little helpless,” Gifford told the New York newspaper. “No one seemed to be interested in the truth, and that was really frustrating for me because I have a deep sense of injustice about things. I don’t like somebody taking credit for something they had nothing to do with and I certainly don’t like somebody taking blame for something that they’re not responsible for,” she said.
Lauer has been accused of playing a key role in the ouster of Ann Curry last summer from the NBC broadcast.