UPDATED with The View video: Former Fox News and NBC News host Megyn Kelly unloaded on the decisions to pull Gone with the Wind and Cops in light of protests after the death of George Floyd, with a series of tweets and “unfollow me” replies to her critics.
HBO Max said Tuesday it removed 1939 Best Picture Oscar winner Gone with the Wind from the recently launched streamer, saying it would restore the classic film to the service with “a discussion of its historical context.” The Paramount Network, meanwhile, has canceled the long-running docuseries Cops, while A+E Networks is evaluating the future of its A&E megahit Live PD.
Kelly warmed up by retweeting an article from the conservative Daily Caller about the HBO Max decision. Then she asked, “Are we going to pull all of the movies in which women are treated as sex objects too? Guess how many films we’ll have left? Where does this end??”
She then tweeted at HBO Max, using its Twitter handle: “Let’s do this – every episode of Friends needs to go right now. If not, you hate women (& LGBTQ ppl, who also don’t fare well on Friends). Obviously Game of Thrones has to go right now. Anything by John Hughes … Woody Allen… could go on & on… & on…& on…”
Continuing the outburst, she wrote, “You can loathe bad cops, racism, sexism, bias against the LGBTQ community, and not censor historical movies, books, music and art that don’t portray those groups perfectly. Ppl understand art reflects life… as we evolve, so do our cultural touchstones.”
Moving on to cop shows, she retweeted Deadline’s coverage and noted that Live PD is “consistently one of the highest rated shows on cable. But now it may go away bc even watching a police show is somehow offensive to some. (Secret option #2: if you don’t like it, don’t watch.)”
Backlash from her takes was immediate and fierce, with Kelly then jousting with those who pushed back at her comments. “Please unfollow me,” she told one member of her 2.4 million-strong retinue. “So weird that you follow me,” she scolded another.
Kelly, best known for her stint as a primetime host on Fox News, which ended in 2017, saw her subsequent NBC News tenure end in dramatic fashion. With her morning talk show struggling in the ratings, she moderated a panel on Megyn Kelly Today during which she questioned why blackface wasn’t acceptable for Halloween costumes. The resulting outcry hastened the end of her run on the network. Kelly’s most recent media appearance came last month, when she conducted an online interview with Tara Reade, who has accused Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden of sexually assaulting her in the 1990s.
On ABC’s The View today, the co-hosts discussed Kelly’s comments, with Sunny Hostin saying she’d “like to see that same energy from people on the right” talking about “the voter suppression that happened in Georgia yesterday” and the disproportionate number of black people dying of COVID-19.
The View tackled the topic after co-host Meghan McCain tweeted last night that she was interested to hear moderator Whoopi Goldberg’s take on HBO Max’s decision (Goldberg was the first black actress to win an Oscar after GWTW‘s Hattie McDaniel). Goldberg said today that she’s OK with airing controversial movies as long as they’re accompanied by explanations that educate viewers on historical context.
As for Cops, Goldberg suggested that the show should depict a wider scope of cases. “You can have Cops,” she said, “but it just feels like it’s a whole bunch of black people all the time.”