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There's been a lot of election brouhaha over the past several weeks, and this past week, Today host Billy Bush was suspended from his duties on the daytime talk show series after footage was released revealing he had made some disparaging comments against women more than a decade ago. This morning, The Today Show returned to the schedule. Interestingly, the series chose to barely make note of the Billy Bush scandal, with the hosts only briefly addressing the scandal.
Al Roker, who took over for Billy Bush during Today's third hour, addressed what happened with the tape from a decade ago that surfaced, noting:
As you can see Billy Bush is not joining us today, as you're probably aware, (he was) part of that 2005 Access Hollywood taping with Donald Trump that's been in the news all weekend.
Roker's onscreen partner, Tamron Hall, picked up the slack where Roker left off, also noting that NBC has indefinitely suspended Bill Bush following the tape that was uncovered. The episode heavily focused on the election and whether or not kids should even be watching the coverage, although Billy Bush was barely brought in to the conversation. At one point during the lengthy Today episode, Savannah Guthrie did bring up a similar sentiment. You can watch her comments from Today, below.
If you haven't kept tabs on what happened, on October 7, an old recording featuring Donald Trump and Billy Bush talking was leaked by the Washington Post. The recording was meant to shine a light on Donald Trump's past comments, but it also incriminated Billy Bush, who commented about women's bodies, including their legs and their overall looks. The tape was recorded in 2005, and at the time Billy Bush was working on Access Hollywood, which is owned by NBC. It took two days for the network to respond to the video, and then Billy Bush was suspended on October 9. Today reports that an internal memo went around about the suspension. Senior vice president Noah Oppenheim had this to say:
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.
Billy Bush actually only joined The Today Show in August, having left Access Hollywood at the end of April. He's a newbie during the hour, and thereby he should be easily replaceable. We'll have to wait and see if NBC goes further than a suspension at this point, but we do know that as Today continues to attempt to bridge the gap between itself and Good Morning America in the ratings, the NBC series can't really afford a scandal.