Megyn Kelly did not host her morning show on Thursday, October 25, after being widely criticized for defending blackface.
“Given the circumstances, Megyn Kelly Today will be on tape the rest of the week,” a spokesperson for NBC News confirmed to Us Weekly.
The end of the former Fox News anchor’s 9 a.m. hour of the Today show appears to be imminent in the wake of the controversy, but negotiations have been under way for a while now.
“Discussions of Megyn’s show ending have been going on for a moment,” a source tells Us. “This is not a recent development. NBC was practically waiting for a reason to end this show, and what Megyn delivered was a gift — an ‘out,’ essentially.”
Kelly, 47, came under fire on Tuesday, October 23, when she wondered aloud why it is inappropriate for white people to wear blackface on Halloween. “What is racist?” she asked on air during a panel with Jenna Bush Hager, Jacob Soboroff and Melissa Rivers. “When I was a kid, that was OK just as long as you were dressing as character.”
Al Roker was among the first to school his colleague on her remarks. “The fact is, while she apologized to the staff, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country,” the weatherman, 64, said on Today on Wednesday, October 24. “This is a history going back to the 1830s — minstrel shows, to demean and denigrate a race wasn’t right. I’m old enough to have lived through ‘Amos ’n’ Andy,’ where you had white people in blackface playing two black characters and just magnifying the worst stereotypes about black people. And that’s what the big problem is.”
A second source tells Us, “Staffers aren’t surprised at what Megyn said, but are surprised it didn’t happen sooner.”
Kelly issued two apologies after her comments made headlines. She wrote in an email to NBC staffers on Tuesday that she has “never been a ‘pc’ [politically correct] kind of person.” She opened Wednesday’s episode by saying, “I’m sorry. … The country feels so divided and I have no wish to add to that pain and offense.”
Megyn Kelly Today debuted in September 2017.
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With reporting by Jen Heger and Marc Lupo
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