Billy Bush Will Apologize on Monday's 'Today' Show

The Hollywood Reporter

Billy Bush is scheduled to be in his anchor seat for the 9 a.m. hour of the Today show on Monday, NBC executives confirm.

He will address his vulgar comments made during a 2005 hot mic conversation with Donald Trump for an Access Hollywood segment, which Bush was then hosting.

"The plan is for him to have a chance to apologize," said an NBC source.

At this point, NBC executives are clearly hoping that Bush, who just joined the show this year from Access Hollywood, can recover from the scandal that has imperiled Trump's presidential campaign and the Republican party as a whole.

Read more: Giuliani Agrees Trump's Comments Described Sexual Assault: "That's What He Was Talking About"

The tape came to light on Monday, when an Access Hollywood producer unearthed it. But the news division spent the week legally vetting the contents, and in that time it was leaked to the Washington Post, which broke the story on Friday. NBC News also had agreed to let Access Hollywood air their piece first, since they had discovered it.

NBC executives stressed that once they learned of the Access Hollywood tape, they "immediately decided it was newsworthy. There was never any question that we need to protect Billy or that it would see air."

"NBC News did exactly what you would expect from a great news organization," said an NBC spokesperson. "As soon as we saw the tape and made the assessment it was undoubtedly newsworthy, we moved quickly and deliberately to get it published and to do so in the most responsible way."

Bush has already rubbed some people the wrong way at the Today show, say sources, including Al Roker, with whom Bush clashed on air over Bush's handling of the Ryan Lochte interview. Once source described him as "unliked" even before the Trump tape. There is ample proof on social media that Bush's objectifying conversation with Trump has outraged many women - the show's core viewer constituency. 

Bush's Facebook page is currently filled with critical comments from women. According to The New York Times, a call to his office went to a voicemail message recorded by an assistant saying, "You've reached Billy Bush's office. He's busy making America great again."

New York Magazine writer-at-Large and Veep executive producer Frank Rich and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof are among those calling for Bush's ouster. Rich tweeted Sunday, "If @NBC keeps Billy Bush, a cheerleader for sexual assault, on air, @TODAYshow is done for a generation."

If @NBC keeps Billy Bush, a cheerleader for sexual assault, on air, @TODAYshow is done for a generation.

- Frank Rich (@frankrichny) October 9, 2016

NBC has great journalists. I wish it would empower them, rather than celebrity interviewers and sexual assault apologists like Billy Bush.

- Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) October 9, 2016

Read more: Trump Tape Fallout: Concern Over Billy Bush Grows at 'Today' Show