As I predicted, the fallout from Megyn Kelly’s “I don’t see what’s wrong with blackface” comments continues. Not only did her own “Today” show colleagues call out her stupidity on the air Wednesday morning, but now guests that were booked on her show (e.g. the cast of “House Of Cards”) have refused to appear with her. Also, The Hollywood Reporter says that the talent agency CAA is no longer working with Kelly, and it looks like her NBC morning show will come to a screeching halt soon — perhaps today!
Earlier on Wednesday, news broke that Megyn Kelly Today is expected to conclude at the end of its inaugural season. Sources told THR that Kelly had already been meeting with NBC News executives in recent weeks, expressing a desire to return to news and political coverage. At a company town hall on Wednesday, NBC News chairman Andy Lack condemned Kelly’s blackface comments and said that the company would “sort through” things with her. She had been a coveted hire for the network when it lured her from Fox News in early 2017 with a deal reportedly worth nearly $20 million a year.
Yeah, sure, Kelly expressed “a desire to return to news and political coverage.” Translation: she knows that her NBC show is tanking and she’ll be thrown off the air soon, so she wants to re-open the secret passageway back to the safe confines of Fox News Channel, where her bigotry and right-wing biases fit right in — and she can let out all the liberal-bashing small-mindedness she’s tried to keep from escaping through her mouth. She’ll stand as proof that no one from that network can crossover to mainstream TV because of all the Earth-scorching they’ve done while there — with the possible exception of Shepard Smith, whose continued presence at FNC remains absolutely baffling.
In retrospect, he’s the guy NBC should have lured away. Instead, they wasted all that money on Kelly. If only someone could have warned them from the get-go that this would be a debacle. Oh, wait, I did, on this site, 14 months ago. Chalk it up as yet another brilliant decision by NBC News chairman Andy Lack — the guy who let Ronan Farrow leave the network rather than run with his exclusive reporting on Harvey Weinstein et al.
This was my favorite reaction to the Kelly/blackface controversy, from Amber Ruffin on Tuesday’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers”…
Added 10/25/18 2:26pm…
James Poniewozik explains the thought process behind comments like what Megyn Kelly said about blackface:
It is a pattern, and not an unfamiliar one. It’s the kind of remark that comes from people who don’t see themselves as racist. They just see themselves as, you know, normal. Regular. The default.
They grew up in a world where these normal, regular, default things were — well, they were just the way things were. (“Santa just is white,” Kelly said in 2013, as if saying the sun rose in the east.) And they don’t get why people are so upset and sensitive now about what they see as harmless.
It is, at heart, the reaction of people who didn’t have to think much about sharing the world with people different from them. They were never asked to learn much about those other people, or consider how their actions and speech and “harmless” entertainment might exclude or hurt them. Now people like Kelly are being asked to learn. And they’re puzzled, or irritated, or downright angry about it.
Sometimes this feeling manifests itself in an offhand remark about Halloween. Sometimes it’s “Why should I have to say, ‘Happy holidays?’ ” Sometimes it’s tiki torches and “You will not replace us.” The degree is different. But it all comes back to: My thing used to be the main thing, the automatic thing, and now it’s not, and I don’t like it.