As The Hollywood Reporter reported on Wednesday, Kelly was absent Thursday and will also not appear on the Friday episode of her show, the 9 a.m. hour of Today. “Given the circumstances, Megyn Kelly Today will be on tape the rest of the week,” a spokesperson for NBC News said Thursday in a statement.
The host is expected to end her show on the 9 a.m. hour of Today by the end of the season, a source told THR. Kelly was set to meet with executives to work out the future of her role at the network. During meetings held before the eruption from her blackface remarks, Kelly had expressed a desire to cover more news and politics and move away from the lighter fare she often covers on her morning show. Now, backlash from the remarks seems to have only exacerbated the situation, leaving in doubt the future of both Megyn Kelly Today and Kelly at NBC. It’s unclear what NBC News would put in place of Kelly’s show.
The controversy was covered this week in segments on the NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt and on the flagship edition of Today. During a town hall with NBC employees on Wednesday, NBC News chairman Andy Lack condemned her remarks, saying “there is no place on our air or in this workplace for them.” Castmembers from House of Cards also pulled out of an appearance scheduled for next week.
Kelly apologized for her comments, in which she questioned why wearing blackface as part of a Halloween costume was racist, both in an internal email and at the top of her Wednesday show.
Kelly’s team of representatives has undergone major changes amid the backlash. She is no longer working with CAA, and UTA, which was in talks with the host, is said to have backed out of representing her amid the controversy. On Wednesday, she hired Hollywood litigator Bryan Freedman, signaling that she is gearing up for a fight with NBC that could lead to her exit.
The former Fox News anchor was a coveted hire for NBC News in early 2017, with a deal reportedly worth nearly $20 million a year.