One day after Megyn Kelly made a series of controversial comments about blackface, the television host is reportedly being shunned by Hollywood stars, talent agents and some of her colleagues at NBC News.
Just as Variety broke the story Wednesday evening that the Megyn Kelly Today host was in talks with NBC executives to end her 9 a.m hour of the Today show for a new role in the network’s news division, more bad news surfaced.
Several outlets reported Hollywood talent agency, CAA, dropped Kelly as a client amid the backlash over her comments.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kelly hired top Hollywood litigator Bryan Freedman late Wednesday in “a sign that she is gearing up for a fight with NBC that could lead to her exit.” The publication also reported that Kelly would not appear on the Thursday or Friday episodes of her show.
The dizzying developments came a day after the morning news host sparked outrage when she said she saw nothing wrong with wearing blackface costumes for Halloween.
“Back when I was a kid, that was OK, as long as you were dressing up as like a character,” she said Tuesday during a panel discussion on her show.
The backlash was immediate, with critics flooding social media with complaints and calls for NBC News to part ways with Kelly.
After the controversy erupted, Kelly sent an email to her colleagues at NBC apologizing for her statements.
NBC Nightly News aired a segment on Kelly’s comments Tuesday evening, noting that it wasn’t the first time she had shocked viewers with her statements about race. The story reminded the audience that Kelly flirted with controversy in 2013, when she was still at Fox News by saying both Santa Claus and Jesus were white.
Megyn Kelly issued an apology in an email to colleagues for a controversial comment she made on her show Tuesday about blackface. pic.twitter.com/0MJUvA1tjZ
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) October 24, 2018
Meanwhile, Al Roker addressed the latest Kelly controversy Wednesday morning on Today.
“The fact is, while she apologized to the staff, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country because this is our history, going back to the 1830s [with] minstrel shows. To demean and denigrate a race wasn’t right,” he stated during a round-table discussion about Kelly’s remarks.
Later Wednesday, the Megyn Kelly Today host apologized on-air and said she had “learned” from her mistakes.
“I was wrong and I am sorry,” she stated as she fought back tears.
But the apology may have been too little too late.
In yet another twist, some of the actors and executives from Netflix series House of Cards reportedly canceled an upcoming guest appearance on Megyn Kelly Today because of the blackface scandal, according to published reports.
Kelly’s hour of the Today show premiered in September 2017, replacing Today’s Take hosted by Al Roker and Tamron Hall.
The new show was immediately met with controversy after an awkward Will & Grace interview, and a tense exchange with actress Jane Fonda.
NBC is reportedly paying Kelly close to $20 million a year.