Today show: Justin Sylvester responds to controversy after pushing Jenna Bush Hager away from him twice on air

Viewers noticed presenter moving his co-host away from him during live segment

Jacob Stolworthy
Tuesday 16 August 2022 06:46 BST
Justin Sylvester pushes Jenna Bush Hager away twice during Today show segment

Justin Sylvester has explained why he moved Jenna Bush Hager away from him on the Today show.

The presenter as guest co-hosting Wednesday’s episode (10 August) when viewers noticed him shrugging Hager’s hand off his shoulder, and then lightly moving her away from him, while they were watching chef Andy Baraghani roast a chicken.

Hager, 40, laughed at Sylvester’s actions, and could be seen looking at the camera several times.

She also asked Sylvester, 35, at one stage: “Do you want me to go?”

The moment was considered uncomfortable by viewers, and sparked a debate surrounding consent and physical contact. Some viewers even suggested Hager should be suspended.

However, Sylvester himself has cleared up the matter, saying on Instagram that the pair were having a joke and that there is no truth to the claims he was uncomfortable with Hager, whom he called the “nicest” person.

Instead, he said that the pair were jokily flirting with Baraghani, and said people “were jumping to conclusions”.

Related: What happened in divisive Today show moment between Jenna Bush Hager and Justin Sylvester?

On his Instagram Stories on Friday (12 August), Sylvester said of claims he was uncomfortable: “That’s not actually the truth. What we were doing was we were both flirting.

“Well, I was flirting with the chef because he was cute, and I was pushing her out of the way so I could have a one-on-one moment with the chef.”

Justin Sylvester moved Jenna Bush Hager away from him on the ‘Today’ show (YouTube)

He continued: “I hate that people are taking it out of context.”

Sylvester is best known as the host of Daily Pop on E!, which he co-presents with Morgan Stewart. Meanwhile, Baraghani, who appeared on the show, recently released book The Cook You Want to Be.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in