Billy Bush has been suspended from the “Today” show, according to a memo from Noah Oppenheim, the show’s executive producer.
“Let me be clear ― there is simply no excuse for Billy’s language and behavior on that tape,” the memo said. “NBC has decided to suspend Billy, pending further review of this matter.”
Earlier, reports had circulated indicating that Bush would appear on the show Monday to discuss his vulgar 2005 conversation with Donald Trump. Then, an NBC News spokesperson said Bush would not appear on Monday’s show.
Bush, a co-host of the “Today” show, was the host of “Access Hollywood” in 2005 when the lewd and explicit conversation happened. Trump joked that, as a star, he could “grab [women] by the pussy” as he pleased, while Bush laughed. The audio, recorded as Bush and Trump exited a tour bus on the set of “Days of Our Lives,” was published on Friday by The Washington Post.
Bush has already publicly apologized for his role in the discussion.
“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,” Bush said in a statement on Friday.
Bush has since received an outpouring of criticism on his Facebook page, where users shared their disgust.
This piece has been updated to note Bush has been suspended, after earlier reports that he would ― and then that he would not ― appear on the show Monday.