Billy Bush may be toast at 'Today,' reports say

Billy Bush may be toast at 'Today,' reports say

Billy Bush may be a goner at “Today,” sources tell CNN and People magazine, with a huge social media backlash after the TV personality’s lewd conversation with Donald Trump from 2005 surfaced Friday.

The 44-year-old Bush, who was hosting “Access Hollywood” at the time the tape was made, apologized Friday: “Obviously I’m embarrassed and ashamed. It’s no excuse, but this happened 11 years ago — I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along.”

NBC signaled over the weekend that Bush, who joined “Today” in August, would face no disciplinary measures, but in the wake of complaints flooding the show’s Facebook page and on Twitter, decided Sunday night that Bush would be suspended indefinitely. 

Noah Oppenheim, the NBC executive who oversees “Today,” told staffers in a memo Sunday that “we’ve all been deeply troubled by the revelations of the past 48 hours,” and that “there is simply no excuse for Billy’s language and behavior on that tape.”

“He will never be on the show again,” one on-air source told CNN’s Brian Stelter, who also cited a tweet from a former “Today” social media coordinator that it “won’t go over well internally to keep Billy Bush around.”

Another source tells People magazine that Bush had not been a favorite on set, particularly after he tangled with co-host Al Roker by seeming to come to Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte’s defense after it became clear that Lochte lied about being the victim of an armed robbery in Rio. 

“It won’t be a loss to any of them personally if he doesn’t come back,” the source tells People. “The network and producers are going to have to decide if he’s such a liability that they have to take stronger action. Does anyone tune in to ‘Today’ to watch Billy? Probably not really. So if he leaves, it’s not a big deal.”

The tape was from an “Access Hollywood” segment about Trump’s cameo on the soap opera “Days of Our Lives.” An open mic caught Trump talking crassly about his failed attempt to seduce a married woman — later revealed to be “Entertainment Tonight” host Nancy O’Dell — and how Trump can’t stop himself when he’s around attractive women: “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.” 

Vicki Hyman may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @vickihy or like her on Facebook. Find on Facebook, and check out TV Hangover, the podcast from Vicki Hyman and co-host Erin Medley on iTunesStitcher or listen here.

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Published at Mon, 10 Oct 2016 21:26:00 +0000