Extra says Billy Bush’s sexual joke about Kendall Jenner was ‘banter’

The producers of US celebrity news show Extra have backed presenter Billy Bush after leaked audio showed the host making a sexual joke about Kendall Jenner.

The cousin of former president George W Bush was heard making a crass comment about Jenner’s looks in her Toy Story-inspired Halloween costume, which she’d shared on Instagram.

In the 31 October audio leaked to The Daily Beast last week, Bush is heard saying on-set: “Kendall goes as Jessie and, believe me, there were a lot of woodies.”

In a statement shared with The Daily Beast and other publications, Telepictures, which produces the syndicated show, defended their host.

It read: “As with many forms of production in the entertainment industry, the show’s creative process allows the flexibility to try different jokes and banter. In the end, some material lands on the cutting room floor, including remarks that may be too edgy to air on broadcast television.”

Representatives for Jenner and Bush did not immediately respond to The Independent’srequest for comment.

Aside from his place in the Bush dynasty, the TV host is infamous for the leaked, 2005 Access Hollywood outtake in which then-presidential candidate Donald Trump boasted to Bush about grabbing women “by the p****”.

Billy Bush (left) and Kendall Jenner (Getty Images)
Billy Bush (left) and Kendall Jenner (Getty Images)

The clip was leaked in 2016, and while Trump went on to win the presidency weeks later, Bush was fired from NBC’s Today show having held the position for less than two months.

Bush told The Daily Beast in 2019 that he had suicidal thoughts after the video was unearthed.

“Suicidal thoughts pop into your head. I’d never seriously do it – because I have children that matter. But when you’re really low – and this is important to include – you’re emoting at the most extreme.

“But I’m never ever a serious candidate for that. I would not, could not do that to those who count on me and love me and need me. Absolutely not.”

If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, the Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.

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