Katie Couric says Bryant Gumbel had an 'incredibly sexist attitude' about her maternity leave on “Today” show

"He was giving me endless s---," Couric said.

Katie Couric opened up about the "sexist attitude" she endured from colleague Bryant Gumbel during their time together on NBC's Today.

On Sunday's Club Random podcast, host Bill Maher brought up Gumbel, whom he called a "friend" and a "guy's guy."

"He's a guy's guy, you got that right," Couric said with a knowing smile. "He was prickly, but, what a talent. He's such a seamless broadcaster, eloquent. When that countdown would happen — five, four, three, two, one — he would just hit it perfect."

<p>Unique Nicole/Getty; Arturo Holmes/Getty </p> Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel

Unique Nicole/Getty; Arturo Holmes/Getty

Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel

However, Couric quickly pivoted to less complimentary memories of her time working with Gumbel. "Complicated guy, though, I think... really talented guy, incredibly smart," she said. "He got mad at me because I was doing something on maternity leave. And he was giving me endless s--- for taking like a month or two off. I was having my first baby."

"I could see that," Maher responded.

"He was like, 'Why don't you just drop it in the field and come back to work right away or something?" Couric said, acknowledging that there was a joking tone involved. "He was goofing on me but giving me a lot of s---. But it was emblematic of sort of an incredibly sexist attitude."

<p>Brownie Harris/Corbis via Getty</p> Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel

Brownie Harris/Corbis via Getty

Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel

Gumbel first appeared on Today in 1982 and was joined by Couric in 1991. They worked together until Gumbel left in 1997. Couric stayed at NBC until 2006.

Maher noted that during the era Couric was discussing, Matt Lauer was also part of the team. Lauer was fired in 2017 following multiple sexual misconduct allegations. "Obviously, there was a tradition of an old boys' network," Maher said.

"It was a very different environment, very different," Couric added. "Lots of fraternization, a polite way of saying inner-office schtupping."

Shifting away from her accusations of sexism against Gumbel, Maher said, "Women had to put up with more. They just did. I mean, you know, not to get all fuzzy and Lifetime Channel about it, but people like you and Barbara Walters or just women comedians of a certain age, you have to really tip your hat to them because it was harder."

Couric agreed, adding, "I don't want to use the word micro-aggressions, but if you think about the true definition of the word, it was replete with micro-aggressions."

Representatives for Gumbel and Today did not respond to a request for comment.

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