A look into Natalie Morales and Tamron Hall’s alleged feud
The Today show has weathered several scandals over the years, from the unjust firing of Ann Curry in 2011 to Billy Bush’s firing after Donald Trump’s Access Hollywood tape surfaced and even Matt Lauer’s 2017 firing over allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.
While any long-running show has its issues, Today seems to have had more than its share of scandals and issues between co-stars. There were rumors, like the one Vulture reported on, that Lauer was behind Curry’s ouster because he didn’t like her. Then there was the rumored behind-the-scenes feud between Natalie Morales and Tamron Hall.
On Feb. 24, 2014, Hall became a co-anchor of Today’s Take, Today‘s third hour with Morales, Al Roker, and Willie Geist. She became the first Black woman to co-anchor Today. Morales joined Today in 2006 as a national correspondent, and in March 2008, she became the co-anchor of the third hour of the show. In May 2011, Morales became the news anchor for Today when Curry replaced the outgoing Meredith Vieira as Today‘s host.
Not long after Hall joined Today’s Take, rumors began to swirl that there were some major behind-the-scenes tensions between Morales and Hall. Continue reading to find out more about those rumors.
A rumored blowup led to tensions between Natalie Morales and Tamron Hall
It has been long-rumored that Natalie Morales moved to Los Angeles because she feuded with Today’s Take co-anchor Tamron Hall and due to her fraught relationship with NBC News President Deborah Turness. Page Six reported in November 2014 that tensions between the three got so bad that Morales was looking to exit the show. An insider told Page Six that “there’s a lot of tension” among the women.
“Natalie and Tamron are competitive, and there was a big blowup in October 2014 between the two,” a source told the outlet. “Deborah has an issue with Natalie and has sided with Tamron.” Reportedly, Morales and Turness had “zero communication … for a long period of time.” Allegedly Morales “didn’t get the reassurance she had hoped for about her future” during a lunch with the show’s executive producer Don Nash, who said in a statement, per the outlet, “This is total nonsense. As the Today show continues to gain momentum, it sounds like someone is trying to stir up trouble that doesn’t exist.”
There were conflicting reports if Morales’ agent had begun looking for other opportunities for the anchor. An insider told Page Six, “Natalie has two more years on her Today contract. Her agent has not made one outgoing call. Other networks have been calling them.” The feud rumors continued between Morales and Hall, but they tried to brush them off.
Natalie Morales and Tamron Hall put on happy faces
An article published on Nov. 19, 2014, by Us Weekly alleged that network honchos fired Natalie Morales and Willie Geist from Today. A rep for the show denied those rumors in a statement, telling the outlet, “The rumors are wrong — period. This is the team we are committed to. And this is the team that our viewers turn to in the morning.”
The day following the Us Weekly article, the anchors all uncomfortably joked about the rumors on air. After Al Roker asked, “Are you here?” Morales said, per Page Six, “I’m here, sorry, guys, you are stuck with me. You are stuck with Willie, he’s on assignment in Brooklyn.”
Roker continued, “That’s not what I read in the paper and on the Internet. You guys were gone.” To Tamron Hall, he added, “Aren’t you supposed to be on MSNBC?” Hall responded, “I got demoted, bye.” Hall then addressed the Page Six report of her alleged feud with Morales, saying, “I was set to go into Natalie’s dressing room and steal her stuff. Willie, when I didn’t see you this morning when I walked in being your usual diva self for me to feud with, I thought you were gone … Are family members still calling to ask if you are still employed?”
Natalie Morales and Tamron Hall both ended up leaving Today's Take
The Daily Beast wrote in January 2015 of the on-air tensions between Natalie Morales and Tamron Hall, along with what they called the “tense mess of Today‘s third hour.” An example of the awkwardness happened when Hall seemed to take offense that Morales was insufficiently appreciative of Hall’s aunt who was in the hospital. “You love her!” Hall ordered, prompting Morales to agree with questionable sincerity. “I love your aunt, even though I’ve never met her,” she said.
On May 5, 2016, Morales announced she would be leaving her position to move to LA and handle the show’s West Coast coverage while hosting Access Hollywood.
“[My family and I] have long talked about perhaps moving to the West Coast where the sun is always shining,” Morales said at the time. “It’s going to be a good change of pace, a good lifestyle.”
In February 2017, Hall announced that she was leaving Today after the network replaced Today’s Take with Megyn Kelly. Hall opted out of her contract and exited NBC so as to not be demoted. “The last ten years have been beyond anything I could have imagined, and I’m grateful,” Hall said in a statement to Variety by NBC News.” I’m also very excited about the next chapter.”
Morales seems quite happy in her decision to move to LA, and Hall is enjoying the success of her daytime talk show, so it looks as if all has ended well for both.
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