Megyn Kelly was once talked about as the future face of NBC News — possibly as its next chief news anchor. Now, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter, she’s lost her perch as host of NBC’s Today Show at 9 a.m.
“It’s clear she will not be returning to the network,” the person told NPR.
Over the past two days, Kelly has unsuccessfully sought to contain the damage from several statements she made on her hour of Today defending the desire of white people to dress up in blackface costume for Halloween.
Colleagues and people on social media reacted in outrage to her remarks, often pointing to her own past as a host on Fox who periodically made racially charged remarks.
“What is racist?” Kelly asked Tuesday, in a conversation with other panelists on her show. “Truly, you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface for Halloween, or a black person who put on whiteface for Halloween. When I was a kid it was OK as long as you were dressing up as, like, a character.”
Kelly, who is 47, grew up outside Albany, N.Y. The television news star returned to the matter more than once during the discussion, defending a white reality show star who was castigated for dressing as Diana Ross, replete with oversized Afro wig. Her remarks tapped into a painful vein of American racial history that Kelly said in an apology she was only now fully realizing.
The network gave no reply to NPR’s questions on Kelly’s status, though an NBC News official did tell NPR that her show would run in repeats Thursday and Friday, given the controversy.