Megyn Kelly & NBC Reach Exit Deal 3 Months After Blackface Controversy

12 January, 2019, 17:23 | Author: Irvin Gilbert
  • Megyn Kelly: 'You'll Definitely See Me' on TV This Year

Her daily morning show, "Megyn Kelly Today", suffered low ratings, and her assertive style at times seemed out of place in the anodyne environment of morning television. But the Halloween controversy sealed her fate, according to sources familiar with the matter.

"But what is racist?" she wondered aloud.

Kelly is halfway through a three-year contract worth a total of $69 million - an eye-popping sum even by the inflated standards of television news.

She is expected to receive the remaining money left on her contract, which is reportedly in the neighborhood of $30 million. NBC would not comment Friday on whether the separation agreement allows her to write about her experiences at the network.

But Kelly does not now have an agent, and there is no indication that she has another job lined up.

In an on-the-street interview with a TMZ cameraman in New York City Thursday night, Kelly said viewers will "definitely see me back" on television.

A representative for Kelly declined to comment further.

Kelly, a former Fox News host, joined the network in 2017 on a large deal and in three marquee roles. The episode with Trump accusers had more than 2.9 million viewers, one of her biggest audiences on the network.

"Barbara Walters has retired", Kelly told Variety in 2015, when she was still at Fox.

Honoree Megyn Kelly speaks onstage during The Hollywood Reporter's Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast in Los Angeles at Milk Studios on December 7, 2016 in Hollywood, California. But the marriage was awkward from the jump.

Kelly's Sunday night newsmagazine program, "Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly", was widely panned and discontinued after a short run in the summer of 2017.

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Kelly won plaudits for aggressively covering cases of sexual misconduct when the #MeToo movement became an worldwide story in late 2017. But NBC canceled her show.

But tough segments on accusations against former NBC anchor Matt Lauer didn't win her friends internally, as did her public call for Lack to appoint outside investigators to look into why the network didn't air Ronan Farrow's stories about Harvey Weinstein and allowed Farrow to take his story to The New Yorker.

Last week, NBC announced that Al Roker would be taking over Kelly's slot on the 9 a.m. hour of Today. She had few allies inside NBC, and more than a few detractors. At one point, she asked what costumes could be considered racist.

Kelly said it was acceptable when she was a kid to don black face "as long as you were dressing up as, like, a character". Basha, the Shih Tzu she had for 14 years, died last July.

"And I don't know, I felt like who doesn't love Diana Ross?"

Kelly gave a tearful apology on the show the next day.

It's not immediately clear what's next for Kelly.

Kelly has been an ardent supporter of the #MeToo movement, a position that irked NBC executives who thought she focused on it too much. And she apologized on her show the following day, saying "the country feels so divided and I have no wish to add to that pain and offense".

She didn't appear on the network again.

In a statement to ET on Friday, the network confirmed that Kelly is officially out, almost three months after Megyn Kelly Today was canceled following the host's controversial blackface comments. While it was reported previous year that NBC was expected to pay out the rest of Kelly's contract in full, the two parties continued to negotiate other terms, including non-compete and non-disclosure clauses.

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