NBC’s Today show suspended host Billy Bush, former president George H.W. Bush’s nephew and cousin to former president George W. Bush and Jeb Bush, after his 2005 now-infamous and viral inappropriate comments with Donald Trump surfaced Oct. 7. The Trump Access Hollywood tape was made when Bush was a host for Access Hollywood, which is also owned by NBC.
This morning on the Today show, host Savannah Guthrie confirmed Bush’s suspension but didn’t offer any details on the length of the suspension. iMediaEthics has written to Today reps for more information.
“We want to note one other thing: Pending further review of the matter, NBC News has suspended Billy Bush, who now hosts Today’s third hour, for his role in the conversation with Donald Trump,” Guthrie said, according to USA Today.
Host Al Roker separately commented, Politico reported: “As you can see Billy Bush not joining us today. As you’re probably aware, [he was] part of that Access Hollywood taping with Donald Trump that’s been in the news all weekend.” Host Tamron Hall also said “NBC, which owns Access Hollywood, has suspended Billy for his role in that conversation pending further review.”
The news of Bush’s suspension broke Oct. 9, just prior to the 2nd presidential debate. Today producer Noah Oppenheim sent a memo about the suspension and said in part, “Let me be clear: There is simply no excuse for Billy’s language and behavior on that tape.”
Bush apologized Oct. 7 after the tape was release, the Washington Post reported. “Obviously I’m embarrassed and ashamed. It’s no excuse, but this happened eleven years ago — I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I’m very sorry,” Bush said in a statement.
Bush joined the Today show earlier this year after 15 years with Access Hollywood.