The “Today” anchor will reportedly be off the air for at least the next two days as the future of her show is in question and guests have begun to cancel.
The fallout from Megyn Kelly’s backwards-thinking blackface panel discussion on Tuesday has her career in a reported freefall, despite her tear-filled public apology on Wednesday’s show.
The Hollywood Reporter indicates that Kelly will not appear on her show for the rest of the week, and has been dropped by her agency amid ongoing turmoil.
In conforming that Kelly is done for the week, CNN Business reports that one of their sources claims Kelly is “unlikely to return later,” so Wednesday’s episode may well be the last new episode of “Megyn Kelly Today.” NBC has not yet responded to TooFab’s request for comment about Kelly’s future with “Today.”
The backlash from her initial comments had already carried into next week’s scheduled shows, with Netflix confirming that several cast-members of “House of Cards” have pulled out of a planned appearance next week, as reported by Deadline. It remains to be seen if other guests will follow suit, or if there will even be a show to cancel on.
While Kelly had reportedly been talking to the network about getting back into more hard-hitting political news, the public condemnation of her words by NBC News chairman Andy Lack only complicates matters further. “There is no other way to put this but I condemn those remarks, there is no place on our air or in this workplace for them,” Lack said in a town hall discussion Wednesday night, as Deadline reports.
Lack concluded his comments on the matter by saying, “My highest priority remains, and as we sort through this with Megyn, let there be no doubt that this is a workplace in which you need to be proud and in which we respect each other in all the ways we know is foundational to who we are.”
With the loss of representation from an agency, THR says that Kelly has hired a Hollywood litigator amid reports that she and NBC had already begun discussions to wind her show down by December.
Hiring a lawyer at this stage could indicate Kelly is preparing for a legal battle should NBC just want to phase her out completely rather than shift her into a role that would allow her to deal with more serious news, as she’s reportedly been negotiating. Clearly things are in turmoil for Kelly right now with a lot of uncertainty about what the future might hold.
Prior to her televised apology, Kelly had sent an internal email on Tuesday night apologizing to the staff at NBC for her insensitive comments. But Al Roker took her to task for that, saying on-air, “The fact is, 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 minstrel shows, to demean and denigrate a race.”
Those comments came before Kelly’s own on-air apology during her show. “I was wrong and I am sorry,” Kelly said. “One of the great parts of sitting in this chair each day is getting to discuss different points of view.
“Sometimes I talk and sometimes I listen, and yesterday I learned. 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, Halloween or otherwise.”
Kelly’s studio audience gave her a standing ovation for her apology, but it remains to be seen if it will be enough to salvage her career at NBC News.