Megyn Kelly was not on the air on Thursday as host of her morning NBC talk show — and soon, she may not be on at all.
Kelly’s show was not the rousing success NBC executives thought it would be when they signed her to a three-year, $69 million contract, but her recent addlepated comments on blackface may just have pushed her over the edge and into the abyss.
“Megyn Kelly is expected to wind down her 9 a.m. Today show hour by the end of the season, a source close to the situation tells The Hollywood Reporter.”
Sources tell THR that Kelly has met with network executives in recent weeks to discuss the future of the show and expressed a desire to cover more news and politics. It’s unclear what NBC News would put in place of Kelly’s show. But the discussions are at least an acknowledgement that the experiment is not working and that Kelly would prefer to be covering more news as she did with the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.
But CNN went further, saying Kelly will also not appear on Friday and may not return at all.
Two people familiar with the matter confirmed that to CNN Business and said Kelly’s show will be ending. Negotiations about the end date and other details are still underway. But Kelly will not be hosting Thursday’s program, and she is unlikely to return later, one of the people said. So “Megyn Kelly Today” may end very soon.
Kelly has also parted ways with her talent agency, Creative Artists Agency, the reports say.
The former Fox News anchor got into hot water when she defended white people who wanted to wear blackface on Halloween.
“But what is racist?” Kelly asked on her show this week. “Because you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface on Halloween, or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid that was OK, as long as you were dressing up as, like, a character.”
Reaction on social media was brutal, and NBC News even devoted a segment to the story. Then the cast of “House of Cards” announced they would not appear on her show next week as scheduled, and NBC News Chairman Andy Lack blasted Kelly.
“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 said in a “town hall” with NBC staffers on Wednesday.
“As we sort through this with Megyn, let there be no doubt that this is a workplace in which you need to be proud and in which we respect each other in all the ways we know is foundational to who we are,” Lack said. “There is no place on our air or in this workplace for them.”
Kelly fought back tears as she apologized on her show Wednesday.
“I’m Megyn Kelly. And I want to begin with two words — I’m sorry,” she said. “You may have heard that yesterday we had a discussion here about political correctness and Halloween costumes, and that conversation turned to whether it is ever OK for a person of one race to dress up as another — a black person making their face lighter or a white person making theirs darker… I defended the idea.”
She added: “I was wrong and I am sorry. One of the great parts of sitting in this chair each day is getting to discuss different points of view. Sometimes I talk and sometimes I listen, and yesterday I learned. I learned given the history of blackface being used in awful ways by racists in this country, it is not OK for that to be part of any costume, Halloween or otherwise.”
But it all may be too late.