Megyn Kelly will not tape live shows for the rest of the week amid reports that her show will be ending following her defense of blackface earlier this week, NBC confirmed.
“Given the circumstances, ‘Megyn Kelly Today’ will be on tape the rest of the week,” an NBC spokesperson told HuffPost. The network aired a rerun of the show on Thursday.
Kelly, a former Fox News host, faced immediate backlash on Tuesday after questioning during her show what was racist about white people darkening their skin (and the reverse) for Halloween costumes.
“When I was a kid, that was OK, so long as you were dressing up as a character,” Kelly, who was born in 1970, told an all-white panel at the time. “I can’t keep up with the number of people we’re offending just by being normal people.”
She apologized for her remarks at the opening of her show Wednesday.
“I was wrong and I am sorry,” Kelly said. “The country feels so divided and I have no wish to add to that pain and offense.”
Kelly joined NBC in January 2017 after signing a three-year contract with the network. She left a primetime slot at Fox News to host the 9 a.m. NBC show, which has been a ratings dud.
Her blackface remarks fit a pattern of racial insensitivity she demonstrated during her tenure at Fox News, including claiming Santa “just is white” and claiming then-first lady Michelle Obama was perpetuating a “culture of victimization.”
Kelly has apologized generally for some of the things she said on Fox, telling Business Insider last year, “I regret a lot of what I said.”
NBC News chief Andy Lack initially expressed excitement about Kelly moving to the network, telling The New York Times last January that he would be closely involved with her show.
“The thing about this that is challenging but exciting as hell is that we love making new shows,” Lack told the publication. “You don’t get that opportunity that often any more, and you don’t get the opportunity to do that with a talent like Megyn.”
But Lack appeared to change his tune regarding Kelly during a town hall with his staff on Wednesday.
“There is no other way to put this: I condemn those remarks; there is no place on our air or in this workplace for them,” Lack said.
Kelly parted ways with major talent agency CAA and hired veteran celebrity attorney Bryan Freedman in the wake of the blackface controversy, signaling she may be gearing up for a litigation battle against NBC, reported The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday.
Alana Horowitz Satlin contributed reporting.
This story has been updated with additional background about Kelly, information on her hiring a new attorney and comments from Lack.