Billy Bush is under fire for the lewd conversation he had with Donald Trump, but as it turns out, the Today host reportedly has a history of making offensive comments about women.
The former Access Hollywood host is reportedly about to be fired from NBC for a 2005 tape released last week, in which Donald Trump brags about sexually assaulting women. Even though NBC is now apparently irate at Bush, the network knew about his offhanded comments about women for years, TMZ reports. Access Hollywood sources told TMZ that Bush and others in the newsroom often remarked on women’s appearances, and that some of the comments are on tape.
Some of the comments reportedly include, “Man, you look hot today,” “Look at her legs,” and “Man, she looks hot today!” Bush apparently was “particularly impressed” by Gigi Hadid’s and Taylor Swift’s legs, and went so far as to ask Jennifer Lopez about her butt in an interview.
Bush reportedly feels like a scapegoat, since no one at NBC seemed to have a problem with his behavior until the footage was released. TMZ reports that several people knew about the Trump conversation when it happened in 2005, but no one complained at the time. According to “Page Six,” Bush is even considering suing NBC, since he blames the network for the tape’s release. A source told “Page Six”:
“He told people at NBC about this tape. What if there was a transcript of the tape, and high-level discussions about when to release it? Which executives were involved, and why did they decide to suppress the tape until October, when they could have aired it in August? Was it an oversight or a strategic decision by NBC to affect the race? Billy was far from the only person at NBC who was talking about the contents of this tape. On-air talent does not make the decision when to air stories like this.”
Bush is reportedly looking to hire a “high-power fixer” to help restore his image after the scandal, though he apparently refused an offer from Trump to help out with this PR mess.
You Can Call it the “I was always a creep” defense.
Billy Bush is attempting to use the fact that he has a long history of making creepy, objectifying, and downright sexist remarks about women on camera and in the studio to portray his indefinite suspension by NBC as the network cynically and hypocritically scapegoating him for their own PR reasons.
Bush has reportedly been all but fired by NBC after hot-mic tapes emerged of him engaging in lewd talk with Donald Trump before an Access Hollywood segment was due to start filming.
In the video, Bush remarks of Arianne Zucker, the actress who is waiting to escort them into a soap-opera set, “Your girl’s hot as shit, in the purple.”
While making a comment like that would not in isolation be a fireable offense, it is the overall tone of Bush’s banter with Trump in the video that has turned stomachs, and turned the network against their one-time golden boy.
For example, Bush responds, “Whatever you want,” when Trump declares, “When you’re a star, they let you do it… You can do anything.”
When Trump makes his now notorious, “Grab them by the pussy,” remark, Bush chuckles heartily and approvingly in the background.