Shocking! Natalie Morales has reportedly been fired by NBC as the host of Access Hollywood, in a move that no one saw coming.
The 46-year-old, who moved her entire family to the West Coast to work at Access Hollywood in summer 2016, has apparently been given the boot in order to make room for Mario Lopez. Natalie was not the only talent let go, as it seems like executive producer Rob Silverstein was also fired. “NBC are trying to keep Natalie’s firing secret as they plan on announcing it just before the summer, but everyone knows,” a source told the Daily Mail. “Natalie is going to be replaced by Mario Lopez who NBC has taken from Extra before Extra moves to FOX in the Fall.”
The journalist will keep her job as West Coast anchor for Today, but it seems like not everyone is elated at the news that the Saved By the Bell alum, 45, may be taking over. “Everyone is p–sed as he is a giant cheese ball who is allergic to hard work. He’s not the face of the show we want,” the insider added. “It’s like being told that Dad and Mom have died and now you’re being raised by the Grandma you don’t like.”
Natalie joined Access in August 2016 after the whole Billy Bush debacle. “Natalie moved her entire family out to the West Coast for this job and now they have literally screwed her,” the source said.
“Mario has done a secret deal to be the new face of the show and this has pushed beloved Natalie out,” the insider added. “The worst part is they haven’t told us the staff about it. They keep us in the dark but we all know.”
It seems like this move didn’t happen overnight according to the outlet. “Staff got wind of what was happening last summer when rumors were circulating that Mario was positioning himself to be the face of entertainment news for all of NBC,” the insider revealed. “The rumors hit fever pitch during the holidays when Mario was flown to New York to be part of the Rockefeller tree lighting and he isn’t even officially NBC talent. Yet Natalie is an NBC star and she was nowhere to be seen.”
They added, “Access never found its footing after Billy left and after two years of trying we feel we need someone with name recognition to anchor the show going forward and we feel Mario Lopez is the right host for the show … It’s just not right. This move will damage our brand especially in the wake of the current #MeToo movement — moving two capable female hosts out of the way for a man.” The source said, “While Mario appears clean cut — we’ve been in the industry a very long time and have memories of Mario’s history and we don’t want that anywhere near our show.”
It will be interesting to see how this shakeup plays out!
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