Billy Bush, a host on NBC’s “TODAY” show, has been suspended “pending further review,” per an internal memo sent to staff by senior vice president Noah Oppenheim, who oversees the broadcast.
Bush has come under fire for his involvement in a 2005 “Access Hollywood” videotape with Donald Trump that has sparked backlash against the Republican nominee. On the tape, Trump is heard boasting in lewd terms about a failed attempt to seduce a married woman and talks about kissing and groping women without their consent, saying “when you’re a star, they let you do it.” Bush, then an anchor for the entertainment show, is heard on the tape laughing and joking along with Trump.
In his memo, Oppenheim wrote, “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.”
Bush apologized in a Friday evening personal statement after the video surfaced saying, “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. I’m very sorry.”
Access Hollywood is owned and distributed by NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News and MSNBC.