NBC has terminated the host, effective immediately.
In the wake of the Access Hollywood/Donald Trump hot-mic scandal, former Access Hollywood host and current Today show host Billy Bush is out of a job.
On Monday night, NBC announced Bush would leave the show, effective immediately. The 44-year-old father of three had been on suspension since the tape surfaced.
“While he was a new member of the Today team, he was a valued colleague and longtime member of the broader NBC family. We wish him success as he goes forward,” the network said in a statement.
In the 2005 tape, Bush is heard urging actress Arianne Zucker to hug Donald Trump. “How about a little hug for The Donald? He just got off the bus,” says Bush.
Trump had just been talking about kissing women and grabbing them without consent, which he said he could do because he was a “star.”
“You can do anything,” Trump says to Bush, who chimes in with, “whatever you want.” After Zucker gives Trump an awkward hug, Bush asks, “how about a little hug for the Bushy?”
Speaking to CNN‘s Anderson Cooper about the tape, Trump’s wife, Melania, accused Bush of encouraging her husband to say “dirty and bad stuff,” and dismissed the conversation as “boy talk.”
For his part, Bush said in a statement that he is “deeply grateful for the conversations I’ve had with my daughters, and for all of the support from family, friends and colleagues. I look forward to what lies ahead.”
NBC’s Matt Lauer addressed Bush’s departure on air Tuesday morning:
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) October 18, 2016
Image via Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com.