NBC Removes Megyn Kelly From Hosting ‘Today Show,’ Fate Of Her $69 Million Contract In Question
Megyn Kelly has been removed from hosting the third hour of NBC’s Today Show.
This news has come less than two years since Kelly reportedly signed a three year, $69 million contract.
On Tuesday, Kelly received huge backlash after making a blackface comment during the panel of her Megyn Kelly Today show.
“You truly do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface at Halloween or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween,” Kelly said during the show. “That was ok when I was a kid, as long as you were dressing like a character.”
Kelly then pointed out the Real Housewives reality star, Luann de Lesseps once dressed up as singer Diana Ross. “People said that was racist and I don’t know, I felt like, who doesn’t love Diana Ross?” Kelly continued. “She wanted to look like Diana Ross for one day. I don’t know how that got racist on Halloween.”
In response, NBC reporter and guest panelist Jacob Soboroff said that he hadn’t seen Lesseps’s costume, but that it did sound a “little racist.”
Once people learned of Kelly’s blackface comments they took to Instagram and Twitter to express their disappointment. NBC News and MSNBC also spoke about the incident on its NBC Nightly News the same night of the controversial comments and the next day on MSNBC.
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) October 26, 2018
Megyn Kelly is 47 years old.
She was born in the college town of Champagne Ill.
She has worked in major media markets for last 20 years.
There's NO way she never knew blackface was offensive to Black folks unless she's a clueless moron.
— Raising Kane (@eugene_kane) October 23, 2018
Y’all out here acting shocked that Megyn Kelly is acting like Megyn Kelly.
“When someone shows you who they are believe them the first time.”
—Maya Angelou pic.twitter.com/VmXMdvSyd4
— Natasha Rothwell (@natasharothwell) October 23, 2018
Hours later, Kelly apologized for her blackface comments in a letter to NBC staff, claiming that she had rethought her own views and that she was deeply sorry for what she said.
Here's the email Megyn Kelly sent to colleagues today apologizing for her comments on blackface Halloween costumes pic.twitter.com/cOVW1QWJB6
— Tom Kludt (@TomKludt) October 23, 2018
megyn kelly apologized without using the notes app so it’s not valid
— Desus Nice (@desusnice) October 23, 2018
Today meteorologist Al Roker didn’t buy it and said that the apology wasn’t good enough.
“The fact is, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the county,” he said. “This is a history, going back to the 1830s minstrel shows. To demean and denigrate a race wasn’t right. I’m old enough to have lived through Amos ‘n’ Andy where you had white people in blackface playing two black characters just magnifying the stereotypes about black people. And that’s what the big problem is. … No good comes from it. It’s just not right.”
During her Wednesday program, Kelly went on air to make another apology. “I want to begin with two words, I’m sorry,” she began. “The country feels so divided and I have no wish to add to that pain and offense. I believe this is a time for more understanding, more love, more sensitivity and honor.” After finishing her apology, she received a standing ovation from the live in-studio audience.
NBC News president Andy Lack, who is behind Kelly’s hiring, still wasn’t happy with Kelly’s remarks which he told a staff-only town hall meeting at 30 Rockefeller Center in Manhattan on Wednesday afternoon.
“There is no other way to put this: I condemn those remarks; there is no place on our air or in this workplace for them,” Lack told the staff.
According to several reports since Wednesday, Kelly has left her talent agency, Creative Artists Agency, and has opted for United Talent Agency instead.
In 2003, Kelly became a broadcast journalist after leaving her job as an attorney. Within a year of working as a reporter on a local television for an ABC affiliate in the Washington, D.C., area, she was hired by Fox News. Just a year ago, Kelly left Fox News and was picked up by NBC.