Megyn Kelly’s “just asking” why it’s racist for white people to put on blackface for Halloween was reportedly the final nail in the coffin for her Today show and will probably end her NBC career, too.
In case you missed it, here’s how CNN’s Brian Stelter described what happened:
During the offending segment on Tuesday, Kelly said it was OK when she was growing up for white people to dress up as black characters, and she spoke out against a controversy that erupted last year over a reality star who portrayed Diana Ross.
“But what is racist?” Kelly asked. “Because you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface on Halloween, or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid that was OK, as long as you were dressing up as, like, a character.”
As The New York Times noted, Kelly apologized both in an email to her colleagues and at the beginning of her show yesterday. But she was criticized bluntly by colleagues Al Roker, Craig Melvin and Jacob Soboroff. Her boss, NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack said, “I condemn those remarks” at a staff meeting.
According to Page Six, NBC wanted to be rid of Kelly before the blackface incident. As Stelter put it, “Two years of pent-up bitterness and backbiting about Megyn Kelly have finally come to a head at NBC News.”
The Times wrote:
Even before this week, the future of Ms. Kelly’s show was up in the air. During a meeting this month, Ms. Kelly and Mr. Lack discussed a possible winding-down of her portion of the “Today” show by the end of the year, according to two people briefed on the conversation. And Ms. Kelly has expressed among friends her dissatisfaction with its top news executives.
The Daily Beast reported that Kelly’s relationship with NBC was “rocky almost from the get-go.” Her Sunday evening news-magazine show was dropped after her interviews with Vladimir Putin and Alex Jones were lambasted. And then there was her attack on Jane Fonda.
Although it’s hardly a surprise that Kelly’s gig at NBC did not work out, it’s even less of a surprise that Kelly revealed a shocking level of racial insensitivity. This is the woman who announced on Fox News, “I just want the kids watching to know” that “Santa is white.” After the firestorm, Kelly played the racial victim. Kelly also relentlessly fear mongered that an Obama Department of Justice decision not to prosecute two members of the New Black Panther Party would unleash an epidemic of black thugs intimidating white voters.
In my recent post about the Page Six report, I noted that Kelly had been sounding a lot like her old Fox News persona with her hammy defense of Brett Kavanaugh and a fiery tirade against the accusations against him by Christine Blasey Ford. It made me wonder if she was looking to return to Fox News. Certainly, her comments about blackface would fit right in there, too.
Whether or not Kelly returns to Fox News (for the record, I doubt it given that she still seems to dislike Donald Trump), I would not be at all surprised to see her appear as a guest on Tucker Carlson Tonight or elsewhere as the victim of the “blackface” debacle that she created.
(Kelly image via screen grab)
Some say that Megyn will dress up for Halloween as Jesus in blackface.