Women's advocacy group calls on DNC to cancel MSNBC debate after rejection of new Lauer investigation

Women's advocacy group calls on DNC to cancel MSNBC debate after rejection of new Lauer investigation
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A women's advocacy group is calling on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to cancel its upcoming presidential primary debate on MSNBC, citing a decision by parent company NBCUniversal to not launch a new investigation into former anchor Matt LauerMatthew (Matt) Todd LauerCuomo investigation returns spotlight to workplace harassment Press: Cuomo belongs to wrong party Joe Biden tops Google people searches in 2020 MORE.

The advocacy group UltraViolent said in a statement Friday that "the DNC needs to make it clear that they support survivors of sexual abuse" by canceling the debate "until Comcast and NBC News take clear steps to clean up the toxic culture that exists across their networks."

“As NBC dithers, the DNC must stand with survivors and pull the upcoming democratic presidential primary debate from MSNBC until clear steps are taken to clean house at NBC News," Shaunna Thomas, the co-founder and executive director of UltraViolet Action, added in the statement.


Thomas called NBC's prior investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Lauer "a sham to provide cover for its executives." 

The Hill has reached out to NBC Universal and the DNC for comment. 

The statement comes after NBCUniversal announced on Friday that it will not open an outside investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against Lauer, who was ousted from the network last year.

A representative for the network told The Hollywood Reporter that they were "very confident" in how they handled Lauer's removal last year. 

NBCUniversal's decision comes amid the release of Ronan Farrow's new book, which includes a number of allegations of sexual harassment and abuse within the network.  

The book includes the allegation that Lauer, the former longtime host of the "Today" show, raped NBC employee Brooke Nevils. 

Lauer denies the allegation of rape in the book, claiming “each [sexual] act was completely consensual” between the two.