Bryant Gumbel grilled Katie Couric about going on maternity leave in an uncomfortable "Today" show segment from 1991 that Couric recently shared with subscribers to her newsletter in the hopes of changing the conversation about working moms.
In her newsletter, Couric recalled the "uncomfortable exchange" with her "Today" co-host Gumbel on her last day at work before taking leave.
"I was about to go on maternity leave and let’s just say, Bryant Gumbel didn’t quite get it," Couric wrote. "It’s pretty shocking to watch it now, 28 years later!"
In the clip, Gumbel asks Couric why she's taking "so long" off work.
Couric, then 34 and due to give birth to her first daughter, Elinor Monahan, in three weeks, said she would be away from the show for nine weeks total – though she told USA TODAY on Thursday that she ended up only taking about four weeks off.
"I'm going to relax for three weeks, as much as you can relax when you're carrying around 30 extra pounds," Couric told Gumbel during the segment. "Then hopefully I'll have the baby and everything. It's a major shock to your body, I hope you realize, when you have a baby. And it takes a while to get back to normal and get on a schedule."
Gumbel apparently thought that was too much time: "Your ancestors didn't worry about that shock to your body. They came right back and worked."
"And they died when they were, like, 32 years old," Couric said.
"You're 34, what are you worried about?" he responded.
Couric told USA TODAY her current relationship with Gumbel, now the host of "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel," is "very friendly."
"It'll be interesting to hear his reaction, but we had a great working relationship," she added. "I think some of (his attitude) was sort of in jest and clearly he was giving me a hard time, but just in context of all the conversations these days it was interesting to watch."
USA TODAY has reached out to Gumbel's representatives for comment.
In the video segment, Gumbel continued giving Couric a hard time for taking what she called her first real time off in over a year – and got defensive when Couric flipped the script and interrogated Gumbel on his time away.
"What is this? What are you asking about? I take some, but I don't – I take some," he said. "You need some time off from time to time."
"Thank you very much, I rest my case," Couric responded. "And you don't even have a baby."
Gumbel retorted he actually has two kids, stating: "The guys have the harder part. There's two rules you've got to remember: Number one, the guy is always right," he said, while Couric mimed gagging. "Number two ... I'm just picking on you!"
Gumbel ended the segment by sharing a reel of some of Couric's most embarrassing "Today" show moments as a maternity leave sendoff.
Couric made it clear she had no ill will against Gumble – but that the "funny/not funny" clip was a great starting point to launch a discussion about the stigma against maternity leave in the U.S.
"I think that times have changed so much, but I do think there's a lot of implicit bias against moms," Couric told USA TODAY. "I think it's important to make sure your employer is up on the times and that women aren't penalized, consciously or unconsciously when they have children."
Watch the full segment below:
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Katie Couric resurfaces 'shocking' clip of Bryant Gumbel grilling her about maternity leave