Shaun Robinson calls out ex-'Access Hollywood' co-anchor Billy Bush for 'white privilege,' says he wasn't always an ally

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Billy Bush’s tweet about the George Floyd protests wasn’t well-received by his former Access Hollywood colleague Shaun Robinson.

When the controversial Extra host shared a link to a conversation he hosted with his current colleague Nate Burleson about the “GEORGE Floyd protests and changing America for the better,” Robinson let him know that he wasn’t always a voice in the movement for racial equality.

“I appreciate you being an ally NOW,” Robinson replied to his tweet. “But, if you want to talk about the pain #WhitePrivilege causes African Americans, you should probably also talk to the black woman who sat next to you on the set of #AccessHollywood for years.”

She didn’t offer any further context about their tenure on the show together — or what prompted her tweet. Yahoo Entertainment has reached out to both Robinson and Bush for comment.

Robinson departed her roles as Access Hollywood correspondent and Access Hollywood Weekend co-anchor in 2015 after nearly 16 years on the show. During her time there, Bush — who is part of the famous Bush family —was Access Hollywood’s co-anchor. Bush departed the show himself in 2016 to be a co-host in the third hour of Today — a job he was fired from when his taped conversation with Donald Trump (with Trump’s infamous “grab 'em by the p*ssy” comment) while shooting an Access segment more than 10 years earlier was leaked ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

At the time, Robinson spoke out about the situation:

However, she publicly remained cordial toward Bush. At the time, she told the Washington Post that Bush — who laughed at Trump’s lewd comments and didn’t speak up — “shouldn’t lose his job for being the type of person that got him the job.” She described the set of the NBC entertainment news show as having a boys’ club culture where women “look the other way because they’re just so happy to be at the party.”

Robinson said that Bush made his comments in the presence of a show producer, who didn’t reprimand him, which was an example of the culture. “There were people on that bus who were in management positions, and if they considered that language to be offensive, they would have said ‘don’t say that,'” she said. “And I don’t think that was said.”

And in 2018, she told Black Girl Nerds that Bush seemed genuinely sorry over what happened.

“I worked with Billy for many years and it was a very tough lesson he went through,” she said. “When I saw him talking about how the whole experience affected his three [daughters], I knew he was really sorry about his part in the situation.”

Bush joined Extra as host and managing editor last year — his first job after the scandal. Robinson is the host of 90 Day Fiancé tell-alls.

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