TODAY Show co-host Hoda Kotb is receiving criticism for a photo shared during the show’s coverage of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.
Kotb along with her TODAY co-hosts Savannah Guthrie, Wilfred Frost, and Lester Holt; hosted from a news desk in London on Monday to provide special coverage of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral. After the special episode, The TODAY Show Twitter account shared a photo from the news desk.
Longtime host Kotb is known for her bright and white smile. But even during the somber events at hand, the photo shared on Twitter shows Kotb with her trademark pearly smile.
TODAY is covering Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral live from London. @SavannahGuthrie, @hodakotb, @WilfredFrost, and @LesterHoltNBC are walking us through this historic day with live updates.— TODAY (@TODAYshow) September 19, 2022
📸: Kaitlin Vickery pic.twitter.com/qxrCezwXEy
Many viewers were quick to point out that the smiles seemed out of place at the funeral of a beloved world figure. Many of those who tuned into TODAY’s coverage wished Kotb had toned down her usual smiley disposition.
“As usual the only face that looks joyful and out of place is Hoda,” said one user. “Why is Hoda smiling like it’s a party? She should be in NY doing 3rd hour,” wrote another.
Several users on Twitter were quick to point out the more stoic demeanors of Wilfred Frost and Lester Holt. Viewers felt they carried themselves in a more respectful manner with muted expressions. Savannah Guthrie also received some negative comments for smiling. But Kotb got the brunt of the negative comments after the photos were shared.
“Hoda looks a little too happy for a funeral,” another comment said. “Everyone looks respectful except Hoda -why the giant smile?”
Some Fans Defend ‘The Today Show’ After a Summer Filled with Negative Rumors
Some users defended the photo as simply something that’s being taken out of context. Arguing the photo was nothing but a photo taken to promote the coverage and that the coverage itself will be appropriately respectful. “This is a picture letting you know about the coverage of the Queen’s funeral….this team works well together and I know will be very respectful once the coverage starts.”
Kotb and her co-host Guthrie have been the subject of many internet rumors over this summer. Fueled by their alternating absences on The TODAY Show, word spread widely that their friendship was on the outs and in fact they had become enemies forced to work together.
Both hosts stayed mute on the issue publically. But whatever bad blood there might have been seems to have faded based on a recent post on Guthrie’s Instagram page. The post shows several pictures of Guthrie and Kotb on set looking happy to be working together.
“Two rays of sunshine! Even in the rain!” one fan wrote in response to the heartwarming post. Another commented, “I sincerely hope all is good between the two of you. I did not like the rumors going around this past summer.”