Al Roker is stepping up to defend friend and fellow Today Show anchor Hoda Kotb after a Twitter user claimed a “seasoned man” should have taken on the lead anchor role left vacant by Matt Lauer after his firing for alleged sexual misconduct in the workplace last year.
Al hit back at the Twitter user on the social media site shortly after it was confirmed that Hoda had been promoted to the position of Savannah Guthrie’s permanent co-anchor on the morning show on January 2, as she’d been filling in for Matt ever since it was confirmed in November that he had been fired by NBC News.
Mere hours after it was officially confirmed that Kotb and Guthrie would be going forward as the first pair of women to anchor the of the morning news show together, one social media user hit back at the decision to give Kotb the role permanently in pretty scathing fashion, which caught the attention of Al.
“Sorry Hoda [you’re] great with [Kathie Lee Gifford] but not as anchor,” the Twitter user, who goes by the name Barb, tweeted. They then added that they were “looking for a seasoned man” to replace Matt on Today.
“Guess NBC doesn’t have one,” Barb then scathingly added in her tweet.
That’s when Roker hit back with a message of his own on the 280-character site, calling out the Twitter user for their remarks.
“Sounds like you want a steak, not an anchor,” the NBC weatherman responded on January 2.
Roker’s tweet has since gone viral on the social media site, gaining more than 16,500 likes in the past 20 hours and more than 1,700 retweets, while a slew of fans also praised the TV personality for hitting back.
“[Barb] wants a seasoned man? Bizarre. Women can vote, drive cars and own land now. Welcome to 2018!” one responded to the tweet, while another simply told Roker that his clapback in defense of Kotb was a “great comeback.”
“Al you have been and continue to be a rock of strength and incredible support for Savannah and Hoda!” another said, while a fourth told Al of his tweet, “Wasn’t prepared for that Al Roker clapback, but I approve.”
However, Barb then claimed in another message to the anchor that she was referring more to Hoda and Savannah’s personalities clashing than specifically wanting a man to take on the role.
“It’s not a gender issue but rather personality. You all are in hype over the wrong issue,” the Twitter user replied after seeing Roker’s message, to which the weatherman then responded, “I guess ‘seasoned man’ has nothing to do with gender. I misunderstood. Have a great day.”
Barb’s tweet was actually in response to a tweet Al sent out just minutes after NBC confirmed that Hoda had been promoted to the role of permanent co-anchor.
Al shared a sweet photo of himself on the set with both Kotb and Guthrie as the trio smiled big for the camera.
“A hearty #congratulations to @hodakotb,” Roker wrote alongside the photo with Hoda and Savannah. “Officially our new @TODAYshow #cohost with @SavannahGuthrie #SavannahHodaTODAY.”