In what should be a balm to anyone concerned about the negative effects of MeToo on men’s career trajectories, the two men laughing during the infamous Access Hollywood tape in which Donald Trump bragged about grabbing unsuspecting women by the pussy are both progressing in their careers quite nicely.
Billy Bush, the amused guy treating future president Donald Trump’s boasts about sexually harassing Bush’s co-star, Nancy O’Dell as if they were small talk, will soon start a new job as host of Extra.
At a recent event honoring his return to television, Bush thanked the media for their impartial coverage of the press junket as well as their support of his comeback:
“I really appreciate you being here, and I know you are journalists, so you can’t root for anyone, or anything like that, because you are very neutral and independent and I get it. I do feel the support of peers tonight, and I am very grateful for that, so thank you. Thank you. I have wonderful friends that are here tonight.”
Perhaps grateful for that kind toast, Time devoted a few hundred impartial words to Bush’s “unique view from the inside of a media maelstrom” in an interview featuring Bush advantageously in the company of a woman friend, executive producer Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey.
In the interview, Bush categorizes moving past the consequences of his own actions as difficult, like going to Soul Cycle:
“Once you get through the depression and break down and you’re at the lowest of the low, you slowly come out and you realize, ‘wow, I’m glad that’s behind me,’” he said. “It’s like going to the gym, you know. ‘Oh, I hate going and I don’t want to work out, but when I come out it’s like OK, I feel pretty good.’ And I feel stronger for the experience, although I’d never want to relive it again.”
In addition to feeling invigorated by his distance from the pussy tape scandal, the experience of dealing with a public angry at listening to a TV host describe a guest as “hot as shit” without her knowledge while another guest contemplates sexually assaulting her has left Bush uniquely qualified to earn the trust of other bad people, he tells Time:
“I’ve already connected with several people I’m watching right now getting the flogging and the public shaming and the cancel culture and all that,” he said. “I’m the first one to reach out and say, ‘you know you’re in good hands with me.’
According to Gregorisch-Dempsey, they’ve already secured one guest from Bachelor in Paradise. The guest has to be Blake, right?