Will Billy Bush Survive the Trump Scandal? Colleague Threatens 'Mutiny' from Staffers
"I don't want to see him again," says a colleague, "and I think there are a lot of women who feel the same way"
Just one day after the revelation of a 2005 videotape that showed Donald Trump making vulgar comments about women with Billy Bush, the former Access Hollywood host is facing criticism from his colleagues at Today.
A source at the show tells PEOPLE that Bush is a hot topic of conversation in the wake of the tape’s release. “Lots of texts and emails floating around,” the source says. “Everybody has an opinion about this, and there’s a lot of talk about what to do with Billy.”
The sticking point: that Bush, who was working at Access Hollywood at the time, did not stand up to Trump for his comments about Bush’s then-cohost Nancy O’Dell.
“This was personal,” says the source. “He was turning on his co-workers and friends to suck up to Donald Trump. So it’s like, ‘what does he say about me when I’m not in the room?’ ”
In the tape, which was also released on Access Hollywood on Friday, Trump said he tried to “move” on O’Dell.
“I did try and f— her, she was married,” Trump said in the tape. “That’s huge news there,” Bush responded. Trump also made comments about O’Dell’s body.
The men also commented on the physical appearance Days of Our Lives star Arianne Zucker, who was arriving to show the two men around set when the conversation took place. After being introduced to Zucker, Bush asked her to hug Trump just moments after he called her “hot as s—” before she arrived.
“How about a little hug for the Donald? He just got off the bus,” Bush told Zucker.
Bush has apologized, saying that he is “embarrassed and ashamed” at the decade-old tape. “It’s no excuse, but this happened eleven years ago – I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I’m very sorry.”
But the Today source – who notes that Bush was 34 at the time of the tape – says that the apology isn’t enough. “I don’t want to see him again,” the source says, “and I think there are a lot of women who feel the same way.”
So what actions will the top execs at Today take? “I don’t know what the decision will be,” says the source, “But I know this will have to be addressed by the producers and NBC. It has to be, or else they’ll have a mutiny on their hands.”