Update, Oct. 11, 1:30 p.m. PST: Billy Bush’s career at NBC is over, executives say.
After an 11-year-old tape leaked showing a lewd conversation between Bush and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Bush was suspended from the Today show, and will not be returning, CNN’s Brian Stelter reported today.
“Billy Bush’s departure from NBC and the Today show is a matter of when, not a matter of if,” Stelter said. “There’s negotiations going on between his camp and NBC, trying to figure out how exactly he will exit, but he won’t be back on the Today show.”
On Friday, The Washington Post published an 11-year-old conversation between Billy Bush and 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump — and it will undoubtedly make your stomach turn.
The sexist conversation was recorded in 2005, when Bush (who, at the time, worked for Access Hollywood) was shooting a segment with Trump about his cameo on the hit NBC series Days of Our Lives.
During one of the most damning parts of the recording (which was the result of Trump speaking into a hot mic), Trump can be heard telling Bush that he kisses women without asking for their consent first, because “when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”
“Whatever you want,” Bush agrees.
Trump then goes on to add that being a star entitles you to “grab them [women] by the pussy,” adding, “You can do anything.”
And now Bush’s career is in jeopardy: NBC has announced that it has suspended him, indefinitely, from the Today show.
On Sunday, Today executive Noah Oppenheim discussed Bush’s actions in a “Dear TODAY family” memo, which, according to The Daily Beast, read: “I know we’ve all been deeply troubled by the revelations of the past 48 hours. Let me be clear — there is simply no excuse for Billy’s language and behavior on that tape. NBC has decided to suspend Billy, pending further review of this matter.”
It is unclear when — or if — Bush will be returning to the air, but according to BBC, Bush is “embarrassed and ashamed” by his remarks. He revealed that while there is no excuse for his behavior, “This happened 11 years ago — I was younger, less mature and acted foolishly in playing along. I’m very sorry.”
BBC reports that Trump stated, “These words don’t reflect who I am… I apologize.” He also took to Twitter to share his thoughts, saying, “I’m not proud of my locker room talk. But this world has serious problems…” before trying to turn the tables by claiming former President Bill Clinton was “more abusive to women in politics.” He added, “My words were unfortunate — the Clintons’ actions were far worse.”
How do you feel about the leaked recording? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
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