With her future at NBC News becoming more questionable, Megyn Kelly is apparently getting suited up for a major showdown with her network.
The “Megyn Kelly Today” show host reportedly hired a Hollywood lawyer, changed her talent agency and has requested a high-profile witness to attend an exit interview with NBC News, according to Daily Mail.
The show ran reruns on Thursday and is expected to do the same on Friday in the wake of controversial comments made by Kelly on Tuesday about wearing blackface. Kelly offered an emotional apology Wednesday after severe backlash following her remarks.
“Given the circumstances, ‘Megyn Kelly Today’ will be on tape the rest of the week,” an NBC News spokesperson said Thursday in a statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Kelly reportedly parted with her talent agency Creative Artists Agency and another group in talks with the NBC host, UTA, have backed out of representing her amid the controversy. Kelly retained the services of attorney Bryan Freedman on Wednesday, the high-powered litigator who defended executive Amy Powell in a gender bias claim against Paramount following her termination. He is reportedly set to meet with NBC executives on Friday.
Kelly’s attorney has also reportedly put in a request for Ronan Farrow to join her in an exit interview with the network, Daily Mail said it confirmed. But the journalist, known for his exposé of Harvey Weinstein which helped end the Hollywood mogul’s career and fired up the #MeToo movement, purports to “know nothing” about the request.
“Ronan knows nothing about this,” a source told Page Six on Thursday.
The publication initially reported Freedman’s request on Thursday.
“Megyn Kelly’s litigator Bryan Freedman is meeting with NBC execs [Friday] and has requested that Ronan Farrow attend, so he can be a witness,” a source told Page Six.
But the likelihood that the network would allow Farrow to be present seems slim in the wake of the clashes between the journalist and NBC News Chairman Andy Lack over NBC declining to run the Weinstein piece which eventually was published by The New Yorker.
NBC wasted no time pulling Kelly following her remarks on Tuesday.
“You do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface for Halloween, or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was OK just as long as you were dressing as a character,” she told a panel, instantly sparking an online firestorm for which even her tearful apology could not help.
While the network has gone to bat for other staff members, like Tom Brokaw, who was accused of sexual harassment, they appear to have declared open war on Kelly.
“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,” Lack told NBC News employees at a town hall on Wednesday, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Lester Holt covered Kelly’s comments on “NBC Nightly News,” as did the “Today” show where Al Roker lashed out at his colleague and Craig Melvin condemned the remarks as “stupid” and “indefensible,” calling Kelly’s apology “silly” and “disingenuous.”
“The fact is, while she apologized to the staff, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country because this is our history,” Roker said.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) October 24, 2018
“Megyn Kelly is done. She is not ever coming back,” an NBC executive with knowledge of the situation said, according to Daily Mail. “We are just working out timing of the announcement but mark my word – she is gone and will never be seen on NBC live again.”
“Here’s the worst part – her deal is a non-break deal – so she walks away with all that money. It’s disgusting and heads should roll here because of it,” the executive added.
While Kelly’s immediate future remains unclear, some rumors have surfaced that she could be headed back to Fox News where the former anchor exited to an NBC News deal reportedly worth nearly $20 million a year. She was not exactly popular at her former network where a spokesperson reportedly responded by stating: “We are extremely happy with our entire line-up.”
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