Tamron Hall responded on Thursday afternoon to the outpouring of support she’s received on social media as fans reignited calls for her return to NBC after Megyn Kelly’s recent comments on blackface.
Kelly has received swift and widespread backlash after she defended the use of blackface in Halloween costumes during a segment on “Megyn Kelly Today” this week.
But many on social media have used the incident as an opportunity to call attention to Hall, who left NBC and MSNBC last year. Hall, the first black female “Today” show co-host, worked alongside Al Roker on the 9 a.m. hour, before the slot was eventually replaced with Kelly.
In 2017, both Hall and NBC announced Hall’s departure following news that Kelly, a former Fox News host, would be joining the morning lineup for the fall of that year.
The shakeup sparked a lot of controversy at the time. The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) said in a statement that the move to place Kelly in the 9 a.m. hour was “seen by industry professionals as whitewashing.”
Many on social media agreed:
NABJ also called attention to Kelly’s history of making racially offensive remarks. The statement pointed to one example in which she once accused former first lady Michelle Obama of pandering to a “culture of victimization,” for her 2015 commencement speech on racial inequality at Tuskegee University.
The journalism organization had also criticized the move citing reports of Hall and Roker’s healthy ratings at the network. Viewership for that hour slot has also reportedly faltered since the shakeup, as The Wall Street Journal reported back in April.
“I would like someone @nbcnews to explain how they concluded it was a good idea to ditch Tamron Hall in favor of the woman who thinks it was ‘ok’ to wear blackface when she was a kid,” wrote Jelani Cobb on Twitter.
Many on Twitter have called for Hall’s return to NBC in the wake of Kelly’s offensive comments about blackface. But the award-winning journalist and host of “Deadline: Crime With Tamron Hall” has since responded to the support. She said she’s living her “best life.”
Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International has announced that Hall will be hosting its new syndicated daytime talk show on ABC Owned Television Stations Group next fall.
“I’m thrilled to partner with the ABC Owned Television Stations Group to bring our show – which will aim to showcase real joy and laughter, as well as inspiration in the face of adversity – to audiences across the country,” Hall said in a statement.
Kelly has since apologized for defending the use of blackface on air. It’s since been announced the host will not tape live shows for the rest of the week, amid rumors on Thursday that her show will be canceled.