Now that Megyn Kelly is leaving NBC’s “Today” show following controversy over racially insensitive comments, a network veteran has piped up to say Tamron Hall should return to the program’s third-hour slot.
Melissa Harris-Perry responded over Twitter to a fan who suggested she take over Kelly’s show. Harris-Perry hosted a program on NBC’s sister network MSNBC until her surprise 2016 departure.
“Nope,” Harris-Perry told the fan.
She continued: “That hour belongs only to [Tamron Hall] and [I’ll] never return to a network that pays millions to rapist [Matt] Lauer and racially insensitive Meg while nearly bankrupting my family for just telling the truth.”
“F―― Andy Lack,” she concluded.
As her tweet suggested, Harris-Perry’s February 2016 departure from the network was bitter. She said that she was being shut out of election coverage, and that her editorial autonomy was being squashed by NBC brass ― including NBC chairman Lack ― and wrote in a scathing email that she would “not be used as a tool for their purposes.” She also raised concerns about the network’s racial composition.
“I am not a token, mammy, or little brown bobblehead,” Harris-Perry wrote at the time.
Hall, the “Today” show’s first full-time black female host, spent a decade there. But she, too, departed the network after reportedly feeling sidelined. Hall and Al Roker were pushed aside to make room for Kelly on the popular morning program, where she took over the show’s third-hour slot.
Yet Kelly’s part of the show, branded “Megyn Kelly Today,” never had ratings success. She sparked outrage this week defending blackface as a part of certain Halloween costumes. Kelly later apologized, but it seemed too little and too late.
NBC hasn’t officially said whether Kelly will be permanently removed from the “Today” slot or who might replace her.
Hall, though, is out of the running. She’s set to soon launch a talk show of her own to air on Disney/ABC.