Has Megyn Kelly Been Fired for 'Blackface' Comments? NBC Host's Future Is Uncertain

Speculation is mounting that Megyn Kelly's tenure as host of her NBC News Today show segment could be in jeopardy after she made racially insensitive comments about dressing in "blackface" during Halloween.

Variety, citing an anonymous source close to Kelly, reported that the host and NBC News have "engaged in conversations" about her taking on a different role at the company, potentially in the breaking news division. These conversations are purported to have happened before the blackface incident.

CNN Business, citing two of its own anonymous sources familiar with the matter, reported that Megyn Kelly Today will be coming to an end, and that negotiations about the end date for the 9 a.m. show were "still underway."

According to Hollywood Reporter, in the wake of the blackface comments, Kelly has parted ways with her talent agency, the Creative Artists Agency (CAA), which also represents NBC News president Noah Oppenheim.

Her "blackface" stance was criticized by NBC News chairman Andy Lack during a pre-scheduled staff meeting on Wednesday. According to The New York Times, Kelly and Lack this month talked of "a possible winding-down of her portion of the Today show by the end of the year."

Kelly's future at the network remains uncertain, and there will no doubt be many eyes tuning in to the Thursday morning Today show, where the host is expected to be absent, according to CNN and Hollywood Reporter sources.

Her blackface remarks, made on Tuesday, fueled a social media backlash. Kelly later apologised, saying on Wednesday: "I learned that given the history of blackface being used in awful ways by racists in this country it is not OK for that to be part of any costume—Halloween or otherwise."

Kelly also released an apology note to her colleagues at NBC in the wake of the criticism sparked after she initially defended the costume choice to an all-white panel.

"What is racist?" Kelly said at the time. "Because you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface on 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, like, a character."

The same day, CNN host Don Lemon spoke out, saying Kelly was ignorant of history. "Sometimes you say stupid things when you're live, but I'm just going to be honest," Lemon told fellow host Chris Cuomo on Tuesday.

"Megyn is 47 years old, she's our age. There has never been a time in that 47 years that blackface has been acceptable. There were all white people on that panel. There were no African Americans [and] no people of color to say, 'Hey, Megyn. Not cool.'"

Lemon added: "This is what people of the larger culture don't understand about racism and about privilege. I don't know many black people who are trying to be white people for Halloween or dressing up as white people. But I know a lot of people who do it for black people."

NBC News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Megyn Kelly
Megyn Kelly speaks onstage at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit 2018 at Ritz Carlton Hotel on October 2, 2018 in Laguna Niguel, California. Is Kelly's hosting future at NBC now at risk? Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Fortune