“Disrespectful” Interview

When viewers tuned in to the “Today” show on February 16, 2024, they noticed an unexpected absence: co-host Savannah Guthrie was conspicuously absent from her regular place. Rather, Craig Melvin replaced fellow co-host Hoda Kotb, who said in passing that Guthrie was “off this morning.”

And Guthrie, where was he? She was, it turned out, starting a book tour in support of her most recent book, “Mostly What God Does: Reflections on Seeking and Finding His Love Everywhere.”Guthrie was supposed to make a scheduled tour stop in Texas the day before, and to her surprise, former First Lady Laura Bush and President George W. Bush stepped up to offer their encouragement.

But despite all of the hoopla surrounding Guthrie’s book tour, “Today” viewers were more focused on an interview that had aired the day before. Kelly Rowland, an actress and singer, was interviewed by Guthrie before she left on her book tour to talk about her upcoming Netflix movie “Mea Cupla.” As they were talking about the movie, which was dubbed a “erotic thriller,” Guthrie got off subject and questioned Rowland about her longtime friend and fellow musician Beyoncé.

Video from 25 years ago, when Rowland and Beyoncé were a part of the popular girl group Destiny’s Child, was cited by Guthrie. Guthrie asked, “What do you think about your friend Beyoncé?” throughout the interview. She’s entering the nation; you two almost grew up together, so she’s like your sister.

Fans and viewers of the show were divided over this line of inquiry. Many thought it was improper to discuss another celebrity in an interview, particularly since Rowland and her contributions should have been the main topic of discussion. Social media was rife with criticism, with several viewers expressing dissatisfaction with Guthrie’s strategy. “Very disrespectful to ask as accomplished entertainer as @KELLYROWLAND about Beyoncé every freaking time she comes on your show,” said one person on X (previously Twitter).