Just ahead of the second presidential debate, Billy Bush, co-host of NBC’s Today, was suspended from the TV show after a 2005 recording released by the Washington Post on Friday revealed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump making sexually aggressive comments about women and Bush egging him on.
One of the women Trump comments on—saying he tried to sleep with her despite the fact that she was married—was revealed to be Nancy O’Dell, Bush’s then-co-host on Access Hollywood. Trump also bragged about kissing women, saying “when you’re a star, they let you do it.”
In an internal memo, Noah Oppenheim, the NBC executive in charge of Today, wrote that everyone had been “deeply troubled” by the events that unfolded. “Let me be clear—there is simply no excuse for Billy’s language and behavior on that tape,” he wrote, according to CNN Money. “NBC has decided to suspend Billy, pending further review of this matter.”
As Money wrote, while Bush didn’t make sexually aggressive comments similar to Trump’s on the recorded tape, he played along with Republican, which is in itself problematic.
“Someone in that situation could express disapproval of the remarks or behavior when it happens, or express support for the target,” Maya Raghu, director of workplace equality at the National Women’s Law Center, told Money.