"Megyn Kelly Today" Cancelled by NBC After Blackface Controversy
By RJ Johnson - @rickerthewriter
October 25, 2018
Megyn Kelly is out at NBC following controversial comments she made about dressing up in blackface this week multiple sources told People Magazine.
The news that Kelly had been cut from the network came just 48 hours after a panel discussion on "Megyn Kelly Today" that featured Jenna Bush Hager, Jacob Soboroff and Melissa Rivers.
During the discussion about colleges attempting to discourage "inappropriate and offensive costumes," Kelly told the panel that "You do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface for Halloween, or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was okay just as long as you were dressing as a character."
Kelly's comments quickly went viral, drawing ire from all corners of the internet and even from her fellow NBC colleagues. Al Roker said the Today host "owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country."
“This is a history, going back to the 1830s [with] 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," Roker said during Today's 7 a.m. hour.
The 47-year-old former Fox News host reportedly apologized to her staff in an email sent later that day. On Wednesday, Kelly made a longer, public apology on-air at the beginning of her show on Wednesday.
"I want to begin with two words: ‘I’m sorry,’” Kelly said. “Yesterday we had a discussion here about political correctness and Halloween costumes, and that conversation turned to whether it is ever okay for a person of one race to dress up as another - a black person making their race lighter or a white person making theirs darker, to make a costume complete.
"I defended the idea, saying as long as it was respectful, and part of a Halloween costume, it seemed okay,” she added. “Well, I was wrong and I am sorry."
Megyn Kelly Today did not air a new episode on Thursday. Instead, NBC reran an episode from Aug 31.
Kelly was also dropped by Hollywood talent agency, CAA. The firm had been representing the former Fox News host since 2015.
In 2017, NBC hired Kelly on a $20-million-a-year contract. Sources told The Daily Mail that the network will pay out the remainder of Kelly's contract, totaling $69 million.
Kelly is expected to depart Today by the end of the season in December.
Photo: Getty Images