We live in a horrifying world. Last night after reading about the shooting at the Clackamas Town Center mall I said to a friend, “Oh wow, have you heard about this shooting?” Which is admittedly more than a bit VAGUE, but it was still very sad when my friend said, “Yeah — yesterday, right?” Because he thought I was referring to this shooting that happened the day before. And that is just shootings, and that is just shootings in the United States, and that is just shootings in the United States in the past two days! It’s very sad and very scary and Hollywood starlet “wardrobe malfunctions” and so far away from the worst thing that can happen on the spectrum that they are very nearly the BEST thing that can happen on the spectrum. (Winning mega mills on your b-day.) But that doesn’t make this Matt Lauer segment with Anne Hathaway any less gross. From Entertainment Weekly:

Matt Lauer doesn’t mess around. When he greeted Anne Hathaway on the Today show this morning, the host got right down to business: “Good to see you,” he said. “Seen a lot of you lately.”

Lauer, of course, was referring to Hathaway’s major wardrobe malfunction at Monday’s Les Mis premiere. While exiting her car in a tight Tom Ford gown, the Oscar nominee accidentally flashed a crowd of photographers — who quickly noticed that Hathaway wasn’t wearing underwear.

“Of course.”

The actress was clearly reluctant to discuss the mishap with Lauer. But after some prodding, [Ed. Note: Prodding that included Lauer asking what she "learned" from this moment.] she launched into an articulate response that skillfully turned the question on its head: “Well, it was obviously an unfortunate incident,” she began. “It kind of made me sad on two accounts. One was that I was very sad that we live in an age when someone takes a picture of another person in a vulnerable moment and rather than delete it, and do the decent thing, sells it. And I’m sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants, which takes us back to Les Mis, because that’s what my character is.”

LOL SEEN A LOT OF YOU LATELY, WINK WINK! Matt followed up Anne Hathaway’s level-headed Human response with, “That’s one of the most creative turns of a question I’ve ever heard, and I’m gonna take it at that. That’s fine.” That’s fine, Anne, you mischievous little thing. I was hoping you’d apologize, red-faced, and promise to wear underwear in the future while we had a laugh, but your accurate and well-stated reading of the many kinds of forced sexualization to be found in modern living, and in particular the coldness of celebrity culture and the section of the public who tear at any sad vulnerability there is to be found, is fine. MOVING ON. What the fuck, Matt Lauer? Are you always such a fucking asshole? I really don’t know. It’s possible that you are! Were the producers shouting “Worse. WORSE. WORSE!” in your earpiece? WHAT THE FUCK?

Comments (118)
  1. He should have expected her to give him some lip for asking such an inane question.

  2. Well now we know what Matt’s dick looks like.

  3. Can someone please explain to me why everyone hates her all of a sudden? Is it because of when she hosted the Oscars? I’ve never been the biggest fan of her, but I don’t have a problem with her.

    • Maybe people think she’s too flashy.

    • I think Hathaway is quite alright. I don’t truly understand people’s dislike of her. Somebody once said her facial features were too ‘sharp’ or ‘angular’ or something. I don’t know why that would even factor in to whether or not you like seeing a person in an entertainment production. If it dos, surely it’s only on a very base-level “she purty” kind of mentality.

      But c’mon. She sings, she acts, she’s just trying to make it in this crazy world just like LITERALLY everyone else.

      • the way i’ve heard peoples’ dislike for her is that she reminds them of the theater nerd they disliked so much in high school. the one that was talented, smart, and not afraid to show off, but just humble and nerdy enough to be a bit shy otherwise.

        those people are just the WORST.*

        *sarcasmo

        • Okay, that was definitely me.

          And while I still get theatre PTSD from her, I also sort of get this Jay Leno company girl (though her company is THE ARTS!!!) vibe that generally rubs me the wrong way. This was a great answer to Lauer and has warmed me up a bit to her in general, but she always seems very cold and very calculated and very condescending and very THIS IS MY CRAFT! THEATRE!!! DRAMA!!! in ways that are almost too poised when things go off-script. She reminds me of a very well-programmed robot.

        • See, Anne more reminds me of the theater types I knew in high school who would lock themselves in a bathroom or a classroom or an anything and sob about how nobody appreciates them because the dress they wear in scene 36 is light blue and not dark blue and you know they look better in dark blue so why are you trying to sabotage the most important part of the play, when they are onstage in the chorus.

          I don’t necessarily hate her because I don’t know her, but PTSD has caused my eyes to roll back in my head when I see her talking.

    • She seems pretty down to earth to me. She’s definitely no GOOP from what I’ve seen. Not sure why people are hating on her.

    • I don’t know, this incident on the Today show kinda proves that she’s smart and quick-thinking and not just some stupid fame whore.

      • Yeah, I kind of didn’t like her because Bride Wars and Princess Diaries seemed like nonsense anti-feminist shlock but that is JUST the correct and most poised answer you can give to that question so good job Anne Hathaway!

      • “…she’s smart and quick-thinking and not just some stupid fame whore.”

        Or she has a good PR person who helped her prepare this excellent answer. Just sayin’.

        • I mean, the line did sound a little rehearsed, but, also, who cares? And like, so what if someone else came up with it for her, she still said it?

          • Yeah, she was at least smart enough to say, “Okay, I need something to say that will end the discussion and make sure everyone knows it was an accident and none of their business and shitty that everyone made it their business.”

        • Nooooooooooooooooo, she can’t be able to speak up for herself on her own.

          • Dude. I am just saying that person may very well exist and deserve the real props for doing their job well.

            Or maybe not, maybe Anne thought it up on her own. Real odds are like 50-50.

          • But why? Why bother? There’s no point, or anything accomplished, raising the possibility that someone standing up for themselves had someone behind the scenes scripting it for them, all it does is pour doubt onto someone defending themselves.

          • Sorry it’s not the narrative you want. Since we’re all sitting around speculating on what kind of a person Anne Hathaway is based on a few scraps of information gleaned from television, I thought I’d make a realistic observation on what may have gone into this story.

            What’s gained? Perhaps the acknowledgement that you can hardly tell anything about what a person is really like from an interview, and the recognition that there’s this whole unseen category of people that shapes the narratives you consume on TV and the internet.

            It’s not even a negative comment. You should be perfectly happy imagining some smart pro answering the phone and saying “Don’t worry Anne, this is easy to spin back on the media.” That person is talented and cool.

            But no, booooo real life. I wants my uplifting story now!

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          • Okay, cool, your comment was totally just and reasonable and needed to be said. I hope there is always someone who feels the same way whenever you are doing anything well, particuarlly when you are doing something well in a tough spot. I hope there is that totally rational person who wants all possibilities discussed, just because.

          • Also, I don’t even want a frickin narrative. My narrative, for like, everything, is “Can’t we just let people be when they want to be left be.”

            In regards to my wishes for your experiences, see also people starting sentences with “With all due respect” and ending others with “I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.”

          • Late to this discussion, but uh…

            Sure, Anne Hathaway definitely has a PR team, and it’s possible and even likely that they discussed the possibility of this incident coming up in an interview. Sure. But Jesus Christ, do you think it’s even possible that these thoughts haven’t crossed her mind before?

            Public ownership of a civilian vagina is basically an invitation for harassment. I can’t imagine that Anne Hathaway, public owner of a mega-famous vagina, would have just zero articulate thoughts on this subject.

        • Well that PR person deserves one hell of a fruit basket because that’s a great answer. I don’t like her in general, but I this answer very VERY much.

        • Or maybe this extremely humiliating, extremely public experience had given her lots of food for thought, and she was able to internalize her feelings about it long before ever sitting down with Matt Lauer or ever expecting to be asked about the “lessons learned” on TV?

    • I think they think that she ruined The Dark Knight Rises or something. I’m pretty sure that’s it.

    • My sister worked on a movie she was in and said she was kind of awful on set.

      But honestly, she generally seems nice and quite composed in front of the press. I guess I’ve just never been impressed by her acting.

      • Speculating on what celebs you like and don’t is fun. We’re forced to have them in our lives and so yeah, so any of them may be perfectly horrible or wonderful (or a combo of all) depending on your experience or relationship with them, so we scrap together what we can and speculate. Anne was dead on with this and I doubt she was coached (there wasn’t time) although she may have been asked this before. Who cares – it was the best response ever.

  4. Lets cut the crap and find some de-pixelated pictures of this wardrobe malfunction.

  5. Ugh, the Today Show. They are all unbearable, but Matt Lauer is definitely the worst!

  6. Ugh, one more reason to change the channel to CBS This Morning. Just kidding. I didn’t need another reason because Charlie Rose is my reason. I would choose him over Matt any day of the week.

    But good for Anne. Good for Kelly for posting this.

    • CBS has less “Viral Video News” so they are infinitely less annoying than the Today Show.

      The Today Show once had an entire segment on two teams from different colleges (one all female, one all male) who had made a YouTube video of themselves dancing on school buses to “Call Me Maybe.” They were on the Today Show – PERFORMING LIVE! So so terrible.

  7. To address the title of this post “What The Fuck, Matt Lauer?”, I concur. What the fuck?

    “That’s one of the most creative turns of a question I’ve ever heard, and I’m gonna take it at that. That’s fine,”

    is (probably) literally code for:

    “I was hoping you would talk at length about your missing panties and your pussy while keeping it twistingly PG-rated for the morning folk, so I could watch you squirm right along with ‘Merica, and then I’d re-watch your reply later when I get home, but you’ve just taken all the fun out of it so whatever. Moving on. It’s not gonna make or break me. I’m just fucked up, is all.”

    GROSS

    • Eh, a more realistic translation is “Wow, I wasn’t really expecting that. I didn’t really put much thought into this stupid question at all. And now I can’t think of anything to say, but it’s still my turn to talk, so bleaaaahahaharghablargh…”

      • Or: “Thanks for ruining my fun over everyone being able to see your naked crotch by reminding me that wow, that is harrassment. I hate, HATE, when I get reminded that someone has been violated.”

      • If I ignore the ‘Eh’ at the start of your comment, it speaks to me more.

      • This is a good point. Matt is basically saying, “I stared at your vagina. Therefore what lesson have you learned about yourself, you vagina-haver, you?” Isn’t THAT right there already the “creative turn of the question”? She didn’t stand the question on its head; she just righted it.

        (I’m not saying the vajin folder on my computer is empty so I’m great. IT IS FULL. I’m just saying, I’m aware the lesson here is not Anne’s to learn. It is mine. And Matt’s. Weird that he didn’t seem to get that, or to handle it well anyway.)

  8. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I had heard about what happened but only seen censored photos. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be that hard to find the uncensored photos but I didn’t try because gross and also the thing about vulnerable moment and not my business. But with that whole thing, Matt Lauer’s basically saying, “yeah, I totally googled that.”

    • Yeah…. I wish he had opened with “So, because I’m a creepster, I’ve seen under your dress without your undies. What do you think of my creepiness?”

  9. This article should not be about Matt Lauer’s failure, but Anne Hathaway’s success. She handled that so deftly and articulately. Bravo.

  10. I would be so creeped/grossed out if a guy tried to make a joke about how he’s seen my vagina. “haha! I saw your vagina! Even though you didn’t want me to! Hilarious!”

    • I’m pretty sure that in any other circumstance, that would be considered sexual harassment. But nope, ol’ Matt Lauer steamrolling ahead on this one!

  11. “So, Mrs. Lincoln, seen any good plays lately?” -Matt Fucking Lauer

  12. Lauer continues his war against anyone named Anne.

  13. Anne Hathaway is becoming my favorite with her responses to douchebaggery. Good on you Anne, and pretty much boo Matt Lauer and the photographers.

  14. I think she looks mad cute with short hair.

    • “And I’m sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants.”

      • Oh come on, there’s a difference between upskirt photos and commenting on how she looks with a new haircut. And given that both the haircut and the life in the spotlight were her choice, and she was fully aware of what that entailed, I hardly think she counts as an unwilling participant.

        • There absolutely is, but when the subject of conversation is the one thing, it really isn’t the appropriate time to be commenting on her hair. It really takes on a whole different tone in the context and it’s one of those times when people should keep certain thoughts to themselves.

          • Hmmm. If someone snapped a surprise photo of me with my pants off — say an angry dog had just removed them, or a hurricane, or a complex trampoline incident — and instead of deleting my humiliation, the photographer published that thing and it went viral? And it got memed up all over the place? And Matt Lauer asked me what I learned, and James Franco got somehow referred to in a way that did not seem to be to my advantage? I can promise you, I would be so, so relieved and happy in the sea of snide comments and impassioned discussion to come across just one “he’s cute.”

          • But the problem there is equating a fluke occurrence with something that’s basically an act of sexual aggression as it plays out with all women and not just celebrities. No one follows you around and scouts out just the right angle to take a picture of your genitals just in case a storm blows up or a dog rips them off or you bail on a trampoline. Random humiliation that anyone might be subject to is not the same as gendered sexual humiliation brought about by sexual aggression (and look, if you don’t think dudes trying to take pictures up women’s skirts is sexual aggression, then we don’t even live on the same planet and there can be no useful discourse).

            So when that sexual aggression is the topic of discussion, yes, it’s in really poor taste and lousy judgment (at best) to bring up whether you find her cute. Depending on how willful the statement was, it can be a reinforcement of the culture that thinks that merely the act of having a vagina means it’s free for the taking, especially if you do “risky” things like wear short skirts or get out of cars or go out in public with it.

            It’s easy for you to say you’d be relieved at “he’s cute” because you don’t have to deal with constant sexualization. No one is trying to take a picture up your pantleg on the subway. No one calls you a whore or a cunt or a dumb slut because they’re angry at you for reasons completely unrelated to gender. You can probably sit at a bus stop or walk along a sidewalk at night without strange men following you and wanting you to talk to them and getting angry and aggressive if you don’t. You are lucky in that regard.

          • But gatherround saying “Cute hair” sounds a lot less creepy than your and ptsmith’s recommendation of “Cute hair? Sorry, I didn’t notice because of all the exposed vagina.”

            (I’m paraphrasing you both, hope you don’t mind, pretty sure I nailed it. Whew, good talk!)

          • Why does it need to be said in this post at ALL? There are approximately five million places on the internet to offer an opinion of Anne’s short hair and the cuteness thereof.

            Look, I get that it’s very difficult for a lot of people to see it this way, but commenting on her appearance in a post like this – a post where she makes a very smart and sad statement about how women’s bodies are treated by society – is a really subtle form of aggression. It’s yanking control of the narrative away from her and reminding her, and all women, that what she says and her personhood aren’t as important on whether she gives some guy tingly feelings.

            You can be reductive and funny about it all you want, but some of us can’t take the day off from caring about this shit.

          • that what she says and her personhood aren’t as important on whether she gives some guy tingly feelings.

            OR girl.

        • I’m not harping, I swear. I just couldn’t find the coherent way to say this before. If a female friend were complaining to you about being harrassed on the street, would you find that to be the best time to tell her how pretty she is?

          • Fair enough. In my defense, I probably would immediately think of the least appropriate response and fight with every fiber of my being to not actually say it out loud. My success rate in these sort of situations is hovering around 67%.

          • No fouls for thinking inappropriate things, and I don’t your success rate is anything to be embarrased about. I am still trying to bring my percentage up after some years spent with a lower one.

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    • I agree with some of what you said, but I have to call bullshit on her not being able to complain because she was in a movie where she was naked. That was intentional. These pictures were not by her choice. There is a big-ass difference. Just because a man might be willing to have sex with someone doesn’t mean it’s okay if any woman who wants a shot can come by and rape him later. Same thing.

      • I agree that there is a huge difference between the intentional and unintentional commodification of sex and that Anne Hathaway was NOT a wiling participant in this case. But, the cynical part of me also wonders if she truly never considered the risk she was taking in light of the fact that pervert paparazzi would most likely be awaiting and photographing her from all angles – considering it’s happened a half dozen times with other female celebrities who chose to go sans underwear? However, I also hate that my question inadvertently also relates to the sexist notion in rape culture: “She deserved it because of what she was (or was not) wearing.” Ugh. I’m just going to go back to lurking…

    • This is the dumbest logic and you’re kind of an asshole here, and truly if I saw you at a party and knew it was you I would tell everyone they should avoid you because your internal logic is kind of creepy. And many of the responses to you are already existing and spot on, but may I add:

      Do men not realize how difficult it is to get out of a car in a skirt without flashing your junk covered or uncovered. Like, yes, this type of photo has occurred before, but it’s incredibly difficult to get both legs out of a low seat onto another surface and propel yourself upward without spreading you legs even an inch or two? It’s very difficult. In normal day to day life you can take some precautions which would prevent showing your bits to the average passerby, but when there is a whole subsection of paparrazzi that has figured out where to station themselves to get a shot of a car exiting mishap so we can all see someone’s vagina without them knowing, shouldn’t we be kind of disgusted? Aren’t we better that germs and garbage, or at least aren’t we supposed to be? As people, shouldn’t we draw the line for smug devil’s advocate somewhere above the level where people are not in charge of who can see their junk when?

      Like, aren’t you ashamed that you did this to this discourse and all of us?

      • Yeah, acting like the right to control who sees your junk is an earned and rarefied privilege that can be negated by various other circumstances is flat-out fucked up, and I hate our society for buying into it so wholesale.

    • So I made a pretty big mistake in one of my arguments and I want to sincerely apologize for it. I only saw part of her line about commodifying sex and did not see the part about it being related to unwilling participants. I really am sorry for suggesting that and, admittedly, that was laziness on my part and I deserve all the vitriol directed at me for that comment and more (so I think there is definitely more room if someone else has aggression they want to vent towards me).

      I still think she should have just worn underwear though and that comparing her situation to that of a dying prostitute with her teeth knocked out is overly dramatic. Yes they could technically both be classified under one broad category but so can stitches and open heart surgery.

    • So you have a problem with a planned and rehearsed answer that she might have put some thought into because she was going to an INTERVIEW? When you go to an INTERVIEW, don’t you rehearse? Timmybear, what are your strengths and weaknesses? How would you respond in this hypothetical situation?

  16. 1. She’s being lauded for calling out the objectifying bullshit that makes it okay for something like this to be “news” all over the place. It doesn’t matter if that stance is planned and rehearsed, she said it.

    2. Showing nudity in one context does not mean that everyone, at all times, gets to see whatever they want. And dude, it’s you who are buying a movie because it has breasts in it, not her who is selling it. Porn and wicked explicit movies are selling themselves with nudity.

    3. Rape culture is rape culture, and calling it out and connecting less bad rape culture to worse rape culture is far from asinine.

    4. What is she an idiot for doing? Having a vagina?

    Bonus point: Way to work “she was asking for it” into your comments more than once, because totally for sure, anyone who for the many reasons to go commando, deserves to risk people stalking them with a high-speed camera to show everybody in the world their photos.

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  18. So I’ve been writing all day, and am totally late to this party, but it makes me feel good to know how many of you guys just get it. Matt Lauer is the grossest for asking this question, and no matter how Anne Hathaway (about whom I have no strong feelings) came across her answer, it really put everything in its place. I guess what I’m saying is thanks Monsters. You’ve made this corner of the internet a better place.

  19. GEEZ, I never realized what a cooze Matt Lauer is. Well played, Anne.

    But on not wearing underwear…. Why? Just… why? There are these things called THONGS and they don’t leave a panty line! And they cover your vulnerable spots! (i.e. YOUR LABIA)!!! Use them!

  20. Also this situation reminds me how most people need to brush up on the female anatomy. Labia on the outside, vagina on the inside.

    You’re welcome.

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