Fox News confirmed that the network was not looking to bring back former Fox News host Megyn Kelly as she negotiates her exit from NBC.
When asked about whether there was room for Kelly, once a star of its prime-time lineup, a Fox News spokesman told USA Today that there no interest in rehiring Kelly at this time.
“We are extremely happy with our entire line-up,” the Fox News spokesperson said, USA Today reported.
Despite the controversy over Kelly’s comments, some of her former co-workers expressed public support for Kelly, saying that “she had a rocky road at NBC.”
“You know, Megyn was my colleague and a dear friend … I was very disappointed when she left Fox News,” Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera told USA Today. “She had a rocky road at NBC. What she said about blackface was grotesque. It was indefensible in many ways, but you know, people make mistakes.”
“She said something stupid, but she didn’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings, she was just telling the truth about how she was raised and how things were back in the day. I think she was really given the short end of the stick and I think she was scapegoated,” Rivera said.
Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean posted on Instagram, “My friend @megynkelly is not a racist. Those close to her know her heart. She’s a good person, a wonderful mom, wife, sister, friend and human being. She didn’t deserve this.”
Vanity Fair reported that an unnamed source said Kelly “wants to come back” to Fox.
However, Vanity Fair also suggested that the contentious atmosphere of Kelly’s final months at Fox, as well as her rejection of the network for NBC, would make it hard for the two to get together again.
Darla Shine, wife of White House deputy chief of staff for communications and former Fox News executive Bill Shine, illustrated the hard feelings that exist, The Washington Post reported.
Kelly had pointed the finger at Fox News management in general when she accused former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes of sexual harassment during the tumultuous months before her final exit from Fox.
— Darla Shine (@DarlaShine) October 25, 2018
“This is what happens when you tilt the universe with lies @Megynkelly. … You helped perpetuate lies against those who helped you. Only the truth will set you free!” Darla Shine tweeted.
As of Friday, Kelly remained an NBC employee without a show after the network announced Friday morning that her 9 a.m. show had been canceled, The New York Times reported.
“‘Megyn Kelly Today’ is not returning,” the network said in a statement. “Next week, the 9 a.m. hour will be hosted by other ‘Today’ co-anchors.”
“Megyn remains an employee of NBC News and discussions about next steps are continuing,” Bryan Freedman, Kelly’s lawyer said Friday.
Although Kelly’s NBC stint lacked the rating success that crowned her career at Fox, the final straw came this week when she offended the network and many viewers of “Today” when she defended letting white children dress up in blackface for Halloween.
“What is racist?” Kelly said. “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 a character.”
In its reporting on the cancellation of Kelly’s show, Fox News linked the issue of sexual misconduct to Kelly’s troubles at NBC, noting that she had publicly called for NBC to investigate its corporate culture after host Matt Lauer’s ouster for sexual misconduct.
Fox News said Kelly’s legal team wants Ronan Farrow, a journalist who chronicled the sexual misconduct of now-disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, to be part of her negotiating team to work out her settlement with NBC.
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