HODA Kotb has been a familiar face on television for decades, working as a news correspondent and host of the Today Show.
Hoda is no stranger to criticism, however, as her long career has seen some controversy, from slips on the air to mysterious TV absences.
A memorable moment came earlier this year when she announced that she and fiancé Joel Schiffman were separating after eight years together.
BREAKDOWN FROM FIANCE
Hoda revealed the split during the show.
She told viewers: “Joel and I have had many prayerful and meaningful conversations over the holidays and we have decided that we are better off as friends and parents than as an engaged couple.
“So we’ve decided to start this new year on our new journey as loving parents to our adorably adorable children and as friends.”
Hoda and Schiffman share two daughters – Hope, two, and Haley, four.
The former couple had been together since 2013 and got engaged in November 2019.
Hoda and financier Joel met after she spoke at an event for Wall Street professionals.
On November 25, 2019, she announced live on Today that she was engaged to him.
“I was totally shocked,” she told the Today panel. “He had a good poker face.”
“We ended up having a little dinner on the beach,” she said, clarifying that the two were in the middle of a tropical vacation.
“And he said, ‘I have something else I want to say,’ and he said some nice things, and then he got on one knee. Then he said, ‘Would you be my wife?’”
They originally planned to get married in 2020 but had to postpone it due to the pandemic.
Hoda shared of the wedding plans at the time: “[It] would mean people boarding planes so we waited to see what might happen.
“But the target we were aiming for is developing into one of the hotspots, so it looks like we’ll have to move it.
“We’re pretty mad about it because the place we were going to was our favorite place on earth. We love it there.”
Later that year, the TV personality revealed that she and Joel planned to expand their family and adopt a third child.
Speaking to Entertainment Tonight in 2020, Hoda said, “Joel and I had this conversation because — you feel like you only have a limited time on earth and your heart is expanding, and sometimes you realize your heart’s ability not to expand until you’ve filled (it), and sometimes you think you’re on top, and then you realize there’s more space.
“And we were wondering if our family would be better with another child? do we have enough love Do we have enough time? Will we be a better family? And the answer to all these questions seems to be yes.
“But you can’t control how life works. All we can do is send it out into the universe and fill out papers and then wait and when it happens, wow, you know, that should be.”
Hoda announced the couple’s split on Today’s third hour, explaining that she’s received many questions from viewers about why she’s no longer wearing her engagement ring.
Though she admitted it felt “weird and awkward” talking about it and “struggled” with what to say, she wanted to be open with fans and let them know what was happening.
Hoda added in explaining her split from her financial fiancé, “It’s not like anything happened.
“They say that sometimes relationships are meant to be there for a reason, a season or a lifetime, that was for a season.”
SHOW ABSENCE TODAY
In December 2021, Hoda was noticeably absent from The Today Show. Guests took their place with co-host Jenna Bush Hager in today’s fourth hour.
Hoda returned later that month, surprising viewers watching from home. Many wondered why she had not been seen for so long.
Turns out Hoda had decided to take a break from technology.
“I went to that retreat where they take your phone again,” she said to Jenna.
Hoda added that she will strive to use her phone only when she needs it “after going almost 10 days without it.”
She said the experience affected her and now she doesn’t want to be hunched over her phone again.
Fans were quick to comment on the Today Show’s Instagram when they saw Hoda was back, thanking the host for reminding them to spend less time on their phones.
“Welcome back Hoda. 😍 You were missed and so glad you’re back!!!” one fan wrote.
“So happy for Hoda. She really needed the rest. ❤️,” wrote another.
A third wrote: “Great to hear you had a great holiday Hoda!!”
Hoda promised that she would work to minimize her screen time.
“I asked myself the simplest question: ‘Was I happier with it or happier without it?’ And I was happier without it,” she said.
“I usually have a fad, it’s not such a fad. And I realized that I feel different… I feel so free and so clear and so not me.”
Hoda and co-host Jenna got into hot water in 2019 when the two decided to weigh in on live TV.
The two hosts opted for the intermittent fasting diet and weighed themselves to note their potential progress. “We do it to be healthy,” Jenna said, and Hoda added, “And to improve our brain health.”
Hoda weighed 158 pounds, while Jenna, who had just given birth to son Hal a few months ago, weighed 171 pounds.
The stunt drew criticism from members of the audience, and the hosts admitted they should have thought a little more about the decision.
“I was transported for a second to a time when I was like a chubby little girl,” Jenna said, “and found a scale in my mom’s room and weighed me. And for a moment I got stuck there.
“All I heard was that. I felt kind of bad. I last weighed myself when I was in college when I weighed a lot less, so it was a shock, it really was.”
Hoda added, “Look, we feel grateful. Don’t get us wrong. We’re healthy, my god, no one knows better how important that is. It has something to do with standing on the scale and watching the number, not stopping. I said, ‘Wait, I don’t remember this number.'”
The hosts faced criticism from viewers who accused them of body shaming, but Hoda said they learned “a lesson”.
“I think we’re doing this because we want to feel better. We want to feel better about our girls. We want to feel happier.”
Jenna said: “We teach our girls that they are so much more than we look. That they are brilliant and interesting and funny and smart and caring and compassionate and that there is so much more to life than a number on the scale.”
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https://www.the-sun.com/entertainment/5159794/hoda-kotb-today-show-controversies-fiance/ Inside Hoda Kotb’s most controversial moments, from missing the Today Show to splitting from her fiancé and weighing in LIVE on TV