Megyn Kelly will not be returning to the Today show according to NBC. The host was removed from the 9:00 a.m. hour of the show, a segment called Megyn Kelly Today, after making offensive comments about blackface costumes this week. According to CNN, the host will also likely being exiting from NBC entirely, though official word has not come down from the network yet.
“Megyn Kelly Today is not returning,” NBC said in a statement. “Next week, the 9 a.m. hour will be hosted by other ‘Today’ co-anchors.”
Megyn Kelly’s lawyer, Bryan Freedman, says that Kelly is still employed by the network and that discussions are ongoing.
Kelly was hosting her hour on the Today show on Tuesday when she asked her panel of guests about what they consider offensive, as the Inquisitr reports.
“What is racist?” asked Kelly. “You do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface on Halloween, or a black person that puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was okay, as long as you were dressing up as, like, a character.”
The backlash was immediate, with people calling for a boycott of Kelly’s sponsors and the show. Kelly issued apologies, but the host was noticeably absent from the show on Thursday and on Friday. Shortly after the controversy broke, Kelly was dropped by her talent agency — and she hired a lawyer to meet with NBC executives.
Kelly was lured away from Fox by NBC with a stunning $23 million per year contract. The three-year contract is halfway over, which means that the network may have to buy out Kelly’s contract in order to end its relationship with the host, as the Inquisitr details.
Megyn Kelly TODAY will not return, NBC News announces https://t.co/EIQ0FFwg7q
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) October 26, 2018
Offensive comments aside, Kelly was already on thin ice with the network, which was rumored to be considering ending her talk shows. The segment averaged about 2.4 million viewers, compared to the 2.8 million who tuned in to watch the Today show segment in that time slot before Kelly became host.
The network has been clear that it does not support Kelly’s comments.
“There is no other way to put this: I condemn those remarks; there is no place on our air or in this workplace for them,” said NBC News Chairman Andy Lack at a town hall event. “Very unfortunate.”
Lack added that the network’s priority is to create a place where employees can be proud to work, and where they respect each other.
The show aired a pre-taped episode on Thursday and Friday, so it is unlikely that Kelly will return to say farewell to viewers.