Megyn Kelly’s Five Most Controversial Moments at NBC

The NBC talk-show host is parting ways with the network, but she leaves these unfortunate incidents in her wake

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Megyn Kelly’s rocky tenure at NBC is ending following her controversial comment earlier this week defending the use of blackface in Halloween costumes.

“’Megyn Kelly Today’ is not returning,” an NBC spokeswoman said in a statement on Friday. “Next week, the 9 a.m. hour will be hosted by other ‘Today’ co-anchors.”

Kelly signed a three-year contract with NBC last year worth a reported $69 million, but she now will not serve it out in full, as her short tenure with the network was loaded with controversy.

Here is a look at five of the most controversial moments during her time at NBC:

1.) She defended the use of blackface. During her “Megyn Kelly Today” segment on the “Today” program this past Tuesday, Kelly hosted a panel that discussed Halloween costumes.

One of the topics was this year’s appropriate Halloween costumes. In the discussion, Kelly said she thought it was “OK” for people to paint their faces black, adding, “When I was a kid as long as you were dressing like a character.”

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Kelly apologized for her comment on the air the very next day, but it appears it was the final straw for NBC.

2.) She endorsed fat-shaming. Back in January, Kelly hosted “Fit Mom” Maria King for an interview, a woman who garnered controversy in 2013 for posting a photo of herself online with three kids and the headline “What’s Your Excuse,” referring to women’s physical appearance.

Kelly took it even further than King and endorsed the idea of fat-shaming people as a way to get them to lose weight.

“Some of us want to be shamed,” Kelly said. “When I was in law school and I was gaining weight, I said to my stepfather, ‘If you see me go into that kitchen one more time, you say, ‘Where are you goin’, fata**?’”

“It works,” she added.

3.) She did a controversial interview with Jane Fonda. In October 2017, Kelly ran into some early trouble on her show when she conducted an awkward interview with Jane Fonda.

In it, Kelly complimented Fonda, who was 79 at the time, on her appearance. Kelly then mentioned that in order to look as she did, Fonda had some “work done.” Sensing that Kelly wanted to ask about her plastic surgery, Fonda replied, “We really want to talk about that now?”

After all, Fonda was on the show alongside Robert Redford to discuss her then-new Netflix film, “Our Souls at Night” — what she looked like or whatever sort of plastic surgery she may or may not have had was not on the itinerary.

4.) She was exposed by Alex Jones. Kelly interviewed the InfoWars founder and popular conspiratorial talk-radio host in an interview, in which she tried to grill him on some of his more controversial claims.

However, Kelly was the one who looked bad after Jones released uncut recordings of his comments with Kelly — which exposed not only her lack of honesty toward Jones, but also deceptive editing tactics by her and her team.

Most notably, Kelly tried to claim that Jones believes the Sandy Hook school shooting did not occur, even though he has repeatedly stated that it did.

5.) She made a “Will and Grace” gaffe. One of Kelly’s first interviews on her NBC show was with the cast of the TV show “Will & Grace.” During it, she made a bad attempt at a joke, which irked the cast.

Kelly asked an audience member, “Is it true that you became a lawyer — and you became gay — because of Will?”

The audience member was a self-described “superfan” of the show — and a gay lawyer, as Will Truman was on the show.

Later that day, Debra Messing, who plays Grace Adler on the show, took to Instagram to say she regretted going on the show hosted by Kelly — and was “dismayed” by her comments.

This article has been updated with the latest information.

Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, and other outlets.

Tom Joyce
meet the author

Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, ESPN, and other outlets.

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