How nefarious was Matt Lauer’s secret door-locking button?

When Variety’s story about allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior by Matt Lauer hit the internet on Wednesday, readers seized on one particular detail in it: the button. Lauer “had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from the inside without getting up,” the piece revealed. In a story full of upsetting details—Lauer reportedly once gave a colleague a sex toy and was known to play the game “Fuck, Marry, Kill” with co-workers as the objects—the button stood out as one of the most horrifying, dominating social media discussion and showing up in other publications’ headlines summarizing the allegations that got Lauer fired.

A button under your desk to lock your door without getting up is literally some “villain from a movie” type shit

— Hanif Abdurraqib (@NifMuhammad) November 29, 2017
NBC EXEC: okay, matt, you get one item from the sharper image catalog

LAUER: i want a button that lets me lock the door without getting up

NBC EXEC: uh…most people pick like a foot massager

LAUER: a foot massager that lets you trap women?

NBC EXEC: no, just a foot massager

— lil kneeass (@jesseltaylor) November 29, 2017