“‘Megyn Kelly Today’ is not returning,” according to an NBC statement. “Next week, the 9 a.m. hour will be hosted by other TODAY co-anchors.”
During her 9 a.m. hour of the Today show Tuesday, Kelly claimed that blackface was acceptable in the context of Halloween costumes, saying it was “OK when I was a kid as long as you were dressing like a character.” The backlash was swift and even drew criticism from longtime Today co-host Al Roker, who said, “While she apologized to the staff, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country because this is a history going back to the 1830s.”
During her Wednesday show, Kelly tried to make amends, saying, “I want to begin with two words: I’m sorry. I defended the idea [of blackface], saying that as long it was respectful and part of a Halloween costume, that it seemed OK. Well, I was wrong, and I am sorry.”
Despite the apology, NBC decided to call of Kelly’s show for the rest of the week, choosing instead to air reruns on Thursday and Friday. On Wednesday, Kelly dropped her talent agency, CAA, over several issues, including concerns over conflicts of interest stemming from CAA’s representation of other NBC talent and executives. Kelly signed with a different agency, UTA, soon after, and hired entertainment attorney Bryan Freedman.
Per Mediaite, Freedman reportedly demanded that journalist Ronan Farrow be present at the meeting. The request was likely related to Farrow’s recent accusation that NBC News of hindered his reporting on Harvey Weinstein. While NBC chief Andy Lack denied the claim, Kelly covered the dispute on her program and suggested the network hire an “outside investigator” to find out what happened. According to reports, Kelly’s relationship with NBC News began to sour soon after.