Already have an account?
Get back to the

Katie Couric Says ‘Today’ Coanchor Bryant Gumbel Had ‘Incredibly Sexist Attitude’ Over Maternity Leave

The Ninth Annual UNICEF Snowflake Ball - Inside, Katie Couric
Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for UNICEF

Katie Couric is reflecting on the “sexist attitude” her former coanchor Bryant Gumbel displayed while working together on the Today show.

“He got mad at me because I was doing something on maternity leave and he was giving me endless s–t for taking a month or two off,” Couric, 67, shared during the latest episode of Bill Maher’s “Club Random” podcast. “I was having my first baby, and he was like, ‘Why don’t you just drop it in the field and come back?’ or something like that.”

She added, “He was kidding, but he was goofing on me and giving me a lot of s—t and it was emblematic of a sort of, incredibly sexist attitude.”

While Couric went on to praise Bryant for his “seamless” and “eloquent” broadcasting talent, she also called the journalist a “prickly” person and a definite “guy’s guy.”

Stars Shutting Down Sexist Remarks

Related: Stars Who Shut Down Sexist Remarks

Us Weekly has reached out to Bryant for comment.

Bryant began working on Today in 1982, with Couric joining him in 1991. She welcomed her first daughter, Ellie, with late husband Jay Monahan, less than one year later. (Couric and Monahan welcomed their second daughter, Carrie, in 1996. Monahan died of colon cancer two years later. He was 42.)

Couric and Bryant worked together until 1997 when Bryant exited the NBC series to work for CBS. Couric eventually followed suit, becoming the first female anchor for CBS Evening News in 2006.

Katie Couric And Bryant Gumbel
Brownie Harris/Corbis via Getty Images

Couric’s recent comments about Bryant are not the first time she’s been candid about sexism in the workplace. During a 2018 forum about the state of women int he workplace, Couric recalled dealing with “gross” comments on the job, including having her wardrobe critiqued publicly when she began hosting CBS Evening News and a meeting at CNN where an executive said Couric is “successful because of her hard work, intelligence and breast size.”

Couric noted that instead of letting the comment go, she wrote to the unnamed executive when then called her, “dripping with apologies.”

She added that while she’s been “fortunate in terms of not being subjected to a lot of sexual misconduct” she has also been “subjected to widely held attitudes about women, about compartmentalizing women.”

Female Stars' Most Empowering Quotes About Feminism

Related: Female Stars' Empowering Quotes About Feminism

Couric’s other longtime Today cohost was Matt Lauer, who was terminated from NBC on November 29 after a colleague accused him of sexual misconduct in the workplace, allegations he has since denied. While speaking to Maher on “Club Random” about her time with Lauer, Couric claimed that broadcast news was a “very different environment.”

“Lots of fraternization,” she said, “a polite way of saying interoffice schtupping.”

In this article

Got a Tip form close button
Got a tip for US?
We're All Ears for Celebrity Buzz!