NBC announces Billy Bush has been suspended indefinitely for his 'inexcusable' comments to Donald Trump caught on hot mic recording
- NBC has announced Billy Bush has been put on an indefinite suspension
- Today executive Noah Oppenheim announced Bush's ban on Sunday
- 'There is no excuse for Billy's language and behavior,' Oppenheim said
- Veteran presenter Al Roker has been called on as Bush's replacement
NBC has announced Billy Bush has been suspended indefinitely from the Today show over his lewd comments with Donald Trump that were recorded on a hot mic.
Today executive Noah Oppenheim announced Bush's ban in an email to the show's team on Sunday night.
'Dear TODAY Family - I know we've all been deeply troubled by the revelations of the past 48 hours,' the statement read.
NBC has announced Billy Bush has been suspended indefinitely from the Today show over his lewd comments with Donald Trump that were recorded on a hot mic
Arianne Zucker (middle) walks between Donald Trump and Billy Bush moments after Bush referred to her as 'hot' in a hot-mic recording in 2005
When the pair stepped off the bus, Bush instructed Zucker to give Trump a hug before saying: 'How about a little hug for the Bushy?'
'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.
'If any of you have any questions or concerns please reach out to me directly, anytime day or night.
Bush, the nephew of former President George H.W. Bush, was recorded on a video, obtained by the Washington Post, on an Access Hollywood set in 2005 with Donald Trump.
The pair were on the set of the soap opera Days of Our Lives. Trump was about to record a segment on the show and Bush was there to interview him when the newlywed billionaire started bragging about his attempts to seduce a married woman and boasting about how being a 'star' meant he could get away with 'anything' when trying to bed a woman.
The shocking outburst captured Trump, who didn't realize the conversation was being recorded, detailing his pursuit of Nancy O'Dell, while Bush was heard commenting and laughing.
From the bus they had ridden to the set, Bush pointed out to Trump an actress, Arianne Zucker, who was there to greet them.
Bush called the actress "hot," adding an expletive.
After getting off the bus, Bush asks the actress to hug Trump, then adds, 'How about a little hug for the Bushy?'
Today executive Noah Oppenheim announced Bush's (pictured right with Natalie Morales) ban in an email to the show's team on Sunday night. Al Roker (left) is set to replace him
Bush apologized for his role in the recording on Friday, saying in a statement: '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.'
The Los Angeles Times reports veteran presenter and Bush's co-host Al Roker, who was meant to have the week off for medical reasons, has been called in to take the disgraced host's spot.
The announcement comes a network insider told DailyMail.com staff members considered Bush 'polarizing', and said he should resign or be sacked immediately.
'He can't stay on a show that's primary viewing audience is women when he has now been caught in a conversation that is offensive to women everywhere,' the source said.
Today executive Noah Oppenheim (pictured) said Bush's comments were inexcusable
'He was a highly polarizing figure who at times acted like an entitled jock and this annoyed his colleagues.
'It's disgusting that he would let someone talk about his former colleague Nancy O'Dell in that way.
'And if he doesn't resign, NBC needs to act immediately and fire him. Even if this was 11 years ago it speaks to his character or lack of character.'
Bush has been brutalized on his own Facebook page since the tape surfaced. Hundreds of hostile comments were attached to Bush's last posting Friday - of him distributing a plate of bacon to "Today" viewers outside of the show's studio. 'You are sickening!' one woman wrote, in a comment that nearly 5,000 had "liked" through Sunday afternoon.
Angering women viewers of a show as important to NBC's bottom line as Today is no small matter. Many viewers upset by 2012's messy dumping of Ann Curry as Today host took it out on colleague Matt Lauer; the show's ratings still haven't recovered. Women make up the majority of Today viewers, particularly in the last two hours of it s run.
Bush has only been at Today for two months, where he's had a rocky start. He was the reporter to whom American swimmer Ryan Lochte lied about being robbed at the Olympics. When Bush later tried to defend Lochte on Today, he was dressed down by colleague Al Roker.
The Access Hollywood tape was an embarrassment on multiple levels for NBC News. The news division for days had been aware of the tape from the NBC-owned entertainment show, but was scooped by The Washington Post on Friday when the newspaper was tipped off about its existence and got a story out within hours.
'I'M ALL BILLY AND NOTHING ABOUT THE BUSH': JUST WHO IS BILLY BUSH AND HOW DID HE END UP AT THE CENTER OF TRUMP'S POTENTIALLY ELECTION-ENDING CONTROVERSY?
Billy Bush was thrust into the election campaign on Friday after a recording of him speaking to Donald Trump on the set of Days of Our Lives in 2005 emerged.
Bush, the 44-year-old host of NBC's Today, was caught out laughing along as Trump bragged about trying to sleep with a married woman and making other shocking comments about women.
He was born in New York City, before going on to attend the exclusive Colby College in Maine.
He then joined the media ranks, starting out with local affiliates and radio stations before landing a gig with Access Hollywood in December 2001.
After a little less than three years, he was promoted to co-anchor in June 2004.
From there, his career in entertainment took off, with Bush being chosen to host pre-show broadcasts for the Academy Awards in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
He also scored a sought-after gig covering the Olympics in 2004 for NBC, a role he revived for the Winter Games in 2006, as well as the Beijing Games in 2008 and Rio in 2016.
Prior to Friday's scandal, he has steered clear of the political world - unlike other members of his famous family.
In fact, Bush seemed to deliberately steer clear of the game that has been dominated by his dynastic family, describing himself in 2008 as 'so apolitical'.
'I'm all about the Billy and nothing about the Bush,' he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
'I have respect for my uncle and my cousin, who have achieved great heights, but it's not for me.
'People don't even know how I vote.'
He has interviewed Trump repeatedly throughout the years, and has been pictured with the reality television star.
He also hosted the Miss Universe pageant four times - in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2009 - during the time Trump co-ran the competition.
Bush married his wife Sydney Davis in 1999, and they have three children together.
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