Megyn Kelly reportedly will be leaving NBC in the wake of the controversy regarding comments she made on Tuesday saying it was OK to wear blackface at Halloween.
Multiple news outlets are reporting Kelly and NBC News executives are in negotiations for her exit from the network she joined in January 2017 after a move from Fox News.
A spokesperson for NBC told The Hill in a statement, “Given the circumstances, ‘Megyn Kelly Today’ will be on tape the rest of the week.”
The New York Times reported that NBC News chairman Andy Lack denounced Kelly’s comments during a previously scheduled town hall meeting at NBC Studios at Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan on Wednesday.
“There is no other way to put this, but I condemn those remarks,” Lack said. “There is no place on our air or in this workplace for them.”
The controversy began on Tuesday’s “Megyn Kelly Today,” when the embattled host said during a panel discussion about political correctness at Halloween that she felt it was fine to dress up in blackface, if it was for the purpose of portraying a certain character of a different race, according to The Hill.
“You truly do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface at Halloween or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween,” Kelly said. “That was OK when I was a kid, as long as you were dressing like a character.”
Kelly’s remarks drew strong criticism, including from her own network.
The on-air personality wrote an email apologizing to her colleagues at NBC, stating, “One of the wonderful things about my job is that I get the chance to express and hear a lot of opinions.”
She continued, “Today is one of those days where listening carefully to other points of view, including from friends and colleagues, is leading me to rethink my own views.”
Kelly explained she now understood dressing up to look like other races, even at Halloween, is not appropriate.
“I realize now that such behavior is indeed wrong, and I am sorry,” Kelly continued. “The history of blackface in our culture is abhorrent; the wounds too deep.”
The former Fox News anchor added that she has never been a “‘PC’ kind of person, but I understand that we need to be more sensitive in this day and age. Particularly on race and ethnicity issues which, far from being healed, have been exacerbated in our politics over the past year.”
At least two of her NBC colleagues appeared not to be willing to forgive and forget.
On Wednesday’s “Today” show, news anchor Craig Melvin called her comments “racist and ignorant,” and the generally genial Al Roker said that Kelly “owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country.”
Later that morning, Kelly did offer a tearful on-air apology for her blackface comments.
“I want to begin with two words: I’m sorry,” she said, before recapping what she had said the previous day.
“I was wrong, and I am sorry. One of the great parts of sitting in this chair 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.”
Her studio audience, which was mixed race, gave her a standing ovation.
The Daily Mail reported that Kelly is expected to receive her full $69 million contract payout, unless NBC can prove she violated its terms in some way.
According to Fox News, “Megyn Kelly Today” has struggled with low ratings since its 2017 debut and there had been reports NBC was looking to reshuffle its programming lineup before this week’s blackface controversy.
Prior to her jump to NBC from Fox, Kelly had the second-highest rated program at FNC, averaging 2.7 million viewers per night.
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