The decision was swift and final. Megyn Kelly will no longer host NBC’s morning “Today” show, according to both NPR and People reports on Thursday. This decision came just days after Kelly received criticism for defending Halloween costumes that used blackface.
There were other reports from Daily Mail, TMZ and US Weekly that indicate that Kelly will be gone from NBC completely, but those reports have not yet been confirmed, and NBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Kelly reportedly met with NBC News chairman Andy Lack to talk about ending her morning show prior to the recent controversy. She was apparently interested in covering more news and politics.
The former Fox News host drew a harsh response on Tuesday after suggesting it wasn’t racist for white people to darken their skin while dressing up for Halloween.
“When I was a kid, that was OK, so long as you were dressing up as a character,” Kelly told an all-white panel during her show on Tuesday. “I can’t keep up with the number of people we’re offending just by being normal people.”
It didn’t take long for Kelly to apologize for her comment later that day in an internal email to the NBC staff. She said that she had rethought her views after “listening carefully” to her friends and teammates.
“I realize now that such behavior is indeed wrong, and I am sorry,” Kelly wrote in the email to her colleagues. “The history of blackface in our culture is abhorrent; the wounds too deep.”
Kelly then gave an on-air apology Wednesday, followed by a discussion on race in America. She did not appear on the show Thursday morning, and the network is airing reruns for the rest of the week.
Lack told NBC News employees during a town hall on Wednesday that he condemned Kelly’s comments.
“There is no other way to put this but I condemn those remarks, there is no place on our air or in this workplace for them. Very unfortunate,” he said. “As we go forward, my highest priority remains, and as we sort through this with Megyn, let there be no doubt that this is a workplace in which you need to be proud and in which we respect each other in all the ways we know is foundational to who we are.”