Megyn Kelly did not appear on her 9 AM iteration of Today and don’t look for her tomorrow, as she seeks to return to her harder news roots, after driving another nail into the coffin that is her morning show career this week defending blackface Halloween costumes.
NBC News instead repeated an edition of her show that focused on sleep deprivation on the first morning of the cooling-off period.
NBC News is “sort[ing] through this with Megyn” as division chief Andy Lack described the situation to his staff at a town hall meeting Wednesday. He had opened that town hall condemning her radio-active on-air remarks made during a panel chat about Halloween costumes.
Kelly no longer is a client of CAA, and a planned move to UTA got jettisoned by her blackface talk, so she is working with Hollywood attorney Bryan Freedman, Nellie Andreeva reported.
Kelly is expected to be removed from the morning show – a daypart she for which she demonstrated since Day 1 she was not particularly well suited.
Making her Megyn Kelly Today debut one year ago, with the cast of Will & Grace and a “superfan” on stage, Kelly asked the fan “Is it true you became a lawyer, and you became gay, because of Will?” The fan took the high road, responding, “I looked at Will Truman and I’m like, ‘He has it made: lawyer, best apartment in New York City and gay? Come on – trifecta!’” But social was not so forgiving of Kelly’s remark, including W&G star Debra Messing who responded to a perplexed commenter on her personal Instagram page, saying, “Honestly I didn’t know it was MK until that morning. The itinerary just said ‘Today Show’ appearance. Regret going on. Dismayed by her comments.”
Kelly also got dinged for her segue during a Jane Fonda interview to bring up her plastic surgery, when the actress came on Kelly’s show to promote her Netflix’s Our Souls a Night. Fonda, who has described itt as “a film about aging” said she was “stunned” by the clumsy and “inappropriate” segue, that “showed she’s not that good an interviewer” but said she would go back on Kelly’s show “if she comes around and learns her stuff.”
In response, Kelly, demonstrating what made her so popular with Fox News Channel viewers, played the Hanoi Jane card. Jane Fonda, she shot back, “has no business lecturing anyone on what qualifies as offensive.”
Informed sources say Kelly wants to return to her news-ier roots. But that too would be fraught with peril for NBC News, as John Oliver pointed out the night before Kelly’s NBC debut. On his HBO late-night show that night, Oliver detailed some of Kelly’s more radioactive remarks from her newsier days at Fox News Channel, including:
Gay rights are more and more protected in this country; Christian beliefs and Christian rights, not so much.
For all you kid watching at home, Santa is white.
Jesus was a white man too.
The New Black Panther Party out there saying we got to go kill some cracker babies.
Is President Obama playing the race card?
Last night’s Democratic debate found five presidential contenders suggesting black lives may have more value than all lives.
NBC has been busily cleaning up after Kelly on air since Tuesday. On Wednesday, hours before Lack’s town hall, Today’s Al Roker declaring she owed “an apology to folks of color around the country” which Kelly did at 9 AM that day as she kicked off what would be her last live broadcast this week. Today’s Craig Melvin, meanwhile, called Kelly’s remarks “ignorant and racist.”
NBC Nightly News did the first on-air report for the network, with a Tuesday report on the incident and the social media backlash.
Even late night got to work that night. Playing the moment when Kelly suggested it was not racist to don blackface on Halloween and had been okay when she was growing up, Late Night’s Amber Ruffin shot back, “It’s not racist on Halloween – it’s racist every day! There is no magical day where you can wear blackface with no repercussions. Unless all of your friends are white. And I’m guessing all of Megyn Kelly’s friends are white!”