'Megyn Kelly Today' canceled, network says

Megyn Kelly Today.jpg
Posted at 1:27 PM, Oct 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-26 13:27:00-04

(RNN) – “Megyn Kelly Today” will not be returning to air, NBC News announced in a press release Friday.

“Megyn Kelly Today is not returning," the network said. "Next week, the 9 a.m. hour will be hosted by other TODAY co-anchors.”

Kelly and NBC are negotiating terms of her departure from the news division after she defended the use of blackface in Halloween costumes, CNN reports

She did not host her 9 a.m. hour of “Today” on Thursday. On Fridays, “Megyn Kelly Today” is usually a pre-taped show.

On Wednesday, she opened her show apologizing for her comments that angered NBC employees and viewers.

"I want to begin with two words: I’m sorry. You may have heard that yesterday we had a conversation about political correctness and Halloween costumes ... I defended the idea, saying that as long as it was respectful and part of a Halloween costume, that it seemed OK. Well, I was wrong, and I am sorry.”

Kelly made the comments about the racist practice during a roundtable on Tuesday’s show.

“But what is racist?” Kelly said during her show Tuesday morning. “You truly do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface at 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 a character,” Kelly continued.

Kelly had a three-year, $69 million contract with NBC, Business Insider said. Her show premiered in September 2017.

Kelly’s time at NBC has not been easy. Ratings have been low, and she has had trouble shedding her image as a Fox News personality.

Her talent agency, Creative Artists Agency (CAA) reportedly dropped her as a client shortly after the statements, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

What is blackface?

Blackface was used as propaganda and to advance a racist agenda, and it has a hurtful history in the U.S. It goes back to the 1820s minstrel roles, where white performers painted their faces, wore tattered clothes and played other races as socially inferior.

One of the most famous minstrel characters was Jim Crow – whose name is still attached to the laws that oppressed blacks, particularly those that denied them the right to vote.

Why it’s offensive:

Culture comes from lived experiences, and when those cultures see pieces of their heritage used for entertainment, it devalues their culture.

In 2011, a student group at Ohio University started a campaign called, “We’re a culture, not a costume.” The group created posters of people wearing costumes depicting stereotypes of different ethnic groups and cultures with the tag line, “When this is how the world sees you, it’s just not that funny.”

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