Megyn Kelly Leaves NBC News


Courtesy of Variety

Christine Nguyen, Co-Editor-in-Chief

On October 23rd, Megyn Kelly caused an uproar after she voiced an inappropriate comment on her show “Megyn Kelly Today.” Kelly suggested that a “blackface” as a Halloween costume was not necessarily racist.
According to The New York Times, Kelly said, “What is racist? 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 O.K., as long as you were dressing up as a character.”
Kelly immediately received backlash, which led to an email apology sent out to her colleagues that day. Co-host Al Roker was not satisfied.
According to CBS News, Roker said, “The fact is, while she apologized to the staff, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country. This is a history going back to the 1830s minstrel shows, to demean and denigrate a race wasn’t right.”
Kelly appeared in a televised apology a day later. Choking back tears, she said, “I learned that given the history of blackface being used in awful ways by racists in this country, it is not okay for that to be part of any costume.”
Unlike the reaction she encountered before, the audience responded with a standing ovation after Kelly’s apology. Not everyone was pleased though as Megyn Kelly continued to receive heat through social media. Her talk show’s Twitter account has been inactive since October.
Emily Hackett (11), who was informed about the topic, said, “Racism plays a part in many jokes and memes found on social media. While society generally looks down upon racism, social media uses it as the basis for laughs, often until it is taken too far.”
She did not show up to work the day after and a rerun of “Megyn Kelly Today” show replaced the live broadcast. Gary Sinise and director Ron Howard also cancelled their appearances on the show. “Megyn Kelly Today” soon after was cancelled.
Kelly cut ties with her talent agency that week and is no longer represented. A rival agency that was ready to sign Kelly backed away in the face of her “blackface” remarks.
Nikai Miller (12), who strongly opposes racism, said, “I don’t agree with Kelly’s statement for various reasons. Black-facing is a manifestation of the history of stereotyping, dehumanizing and oppressing black people. Clearly, it displays that Kelly doesn’t know the shameful and racist past behind this activity.”
On Friday, January 11th, it was announced that NBC News and Kelly reached an agreement. According to a statement released by CNN, “The parties have resolved their differences, and Megyn Kelly is no longer an employee of NBC.”
Kelly is set to receive the remaining $30 million of her $69 million three-year contract.
The former talk show host is expected to maintain a non disparagement clause that she does not speak negatively of her time at NBC News. Megyn Kelly is free to seek other television work if she wants to.