Billy Bush will not be back on NBC’s “Today” show, where he officially remained on indefinite suspension this afternoon as the network sorted out Bush’s role in the scandalous Donald Trump “Access Hollywood” tape, The Los Angeles Times reports.
Bush is negotiating his exit from NBC News, The Times reports, citing sources who are familiar with the discussions.
“In the tape, made while Bush was co-host of NBC’s syndicated news magazine ‘Access Hollywood,’ Trump obscenely boasts about his ability to grope women with impunity because he is a celebrity,” The Times notes. “Bush is heard chuckling and encouraging Trump even as the reality show star crudely talked about how he tried to have sex with then ‘Access’ co-host Nancy O’Dell.”
Bush, 44, has apologized, saying he was “younger, less mature and acted foolishly in playing along.”
“Some female producers and personalities who work on [‘Today’] have made it known that they do not want to work with Bush, according to one person close to the program [who] is not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and requested anonymity,” The Times reports.
As we reported earlier today, The New York Post cited network insiders saying Bush, the nephew of former President George H.W. Bush, was bragging about the tape weeks ago while in Rio for NBC’s Olympics coverage. Insiders noted a number of potential issues for Bush with the network, including failure to disclose the tape and a possible sexual harassment investigation.
The Times notes that some female “Today” fans took to social media, threatening to boycott the show if Bush returned.
“The decision to remove Bush happened swiftly, demonstrating an effort to get past the controversy that broke when the tape was revealed by The Washington Post last Friday,” the report adds.