Savannah Guthrie absent from Today after interview bit called ‘disrespectful’ by critics

savannah guthrie face shot from nbc today on thursday february 15
Savannah Guthrie was absent from the recent episode of Today. Pic credit: NBC

During a recent Today episode, Savannah Guthrie was absent from the lineup alongside her colleagues.

As NBC’s morning program arrived, viewers saw a recognizable replacement in Savannah’s spot.

Craig Melvin, who often appears on Today, was seated between Hoda Kotb and Sheinelle Jones.

“Well, hello, welcome to Today. It is Friday. We’re glad you’re with us,” Hoda said at the show’s start before announcing, “Savannah is off today.”

The NBC anchor recently received some backlash for an interview segment she did with singer and actress Kelly Rowland.

Some online critics deemed part of the interview “disrespectful” as Savannah attempted to get Rowland to answer a specific question.

Savannah interviewed singer on NBC’s Today before her absence

On Thursday’s Today episode, Savannah sat down with singer Kelly Rowland, formerly a member of Destiny’s Child. She’s gone on to a solo music career and has ventured into acting.

Rowland was there to promote her new movie, Mea Culpa, where she plays a criminal defense attorney on a murder case.

However, Savannah brought up Rowland’s former band, Destiny’s Child. A highlight clip from 2001 showed the group performing on Today.

“That was so long ago; I’m 43 now,” Rowland said when Savannah asked how seeing that made her feel.

She also teased new music but wouldn’t reveal details of the project she is working on.

Savannah then asked Rowland about her former bandmate, Beyonce Knowles Carter, who became the biggest superstar from Destiny’s Child.

“What do you think about your friend Beyonce? She’s like your sister; you guys literally grew up together – she’s stepping into the country,” Savannah asked.

Rowland admitted she was “so proud of her” accomplishments, which prompted Savannah to ask for more.

“I know, but were you surprised, and what do you think about it?” she asked the singer.

“I’m so proud of her. So happy for her,” Rowland shared.

Critics blasted Today anchor for interview questions

After Savannah’s interview aired on Today, critics called her out for the questions she asked about Rowland’s former bandmate, Beyonce.

“Please stop asking @KELLYROWLAND about the choices @Beyonce makes. They’re friends. Kelly has her own beautiful gifts, talents and projects that should be celebrated,” a commenter wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

twitter aka x screenshot at critic calls out savannah guthrie for today interview with singer kelly rowland
A fan defends Kelly Rowland. Pic credit: @rambeau_monica/Twitter

“Very disrespectful to ask an accomplished entertainer as @KELLYROWLAND about Beyonce every freaking time she comes on your show. You didn’t ask J-Lo about Puffy or A-Rod or In Living Color,” another viewer wrote.

screenshot from twitter x showing critic calling out kelly rowland interview from today
Kelly Rowland fan supports her. Pic credit: @TODAYShow/Twitter

Why was Savannah absent from the recent Today episode?

Savannah’s Friday absence comes as she continues her book tour promoting Mostly What God Does. The Today star is appearing with some of her colleagues at various locations in the United States to discuss her new book, meet fans, and sign copies.

On Thursday, February 15, Savannah appeared at The Bush Center in Dallas, Texas. The event was moderated by Charlotte Jones, executive vice president and chief brand officer of the Dallas Cowboys.

Savannah shared an Instagram carousel post with photos from the event, including several featuring former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush.

Friday’s appearance was at Off Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi, so it made sense she wouldn’t be on the Today episode.

She has book tour appearances scheduled for Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee, followed by Charleston, South Carolina, this weekend.

On publisher Thomas Nelson’s website with Savannah’s tour details, it is noted that she’ll have appearances in New York next week, starting Thursday, February 22.

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