The fallout from Megyn Kelly’s blackface comments continues as the TV host has
parted from her team at CAA. The agency declined to give a reason for the split,
but a source says the ‘Megyn Kelly Today’ host sought new representation because
the agency also reps NBC News president Noah Oppenheim. Prior to parting ways
with CAA on Wednesday, Kelly was in talks with UTA co-president Jay Sures but it is
said that he too backed out of representing her amid the controversy. A source close to
the situation says Sures’ decision came after he made at least one call to Oppenheim
and had set a meeting with NBC for Friday on Kelly’s behalf. Also on Wednesday,
Kelly hired attorney Bryan Freedman, one of Hollywood’s top talent-side litigators
which suggests she is preparing for a battle with NBC that could lead to her exit.
Kelly will not appear on her eponymous show Thursday or Friday, with the network
airing repeats instead. The drama comes a day after the host of Today’s 9 o’clock hour
said during Tuesday’s broadcast that she didn’t understand why people couldn’t
wear blackface as part of a halloween costume. The former Fox News anchor drew
immediate criticism, from people such as Padma Lakshmi and Patton Oswalt, for
claiming that the practice, which finds its roots in 19th century racist minstrel shows,
was acceptable when she was a kid. Castmembers from ‘House of Cards’ also pulled
out of an appearance on ‘Megyn Kelly Today’ scheduled for next week. At a town hall
with NBC News employees on Wednesday, NBC News chairman Andy Lack
expressed dismay at Kelly’s remarks saying,
For her part, Kelly made a public apology on her Wednesday morning show, saying
‘THR’ reported on Wednesday that ‘Megyn Kelly Today’ is expected to conclude at the
end of the year with sources revealing that the host had already been meeting with
NBC News executives in recent weeks, expressing a desire to return to news and
political coverage. However, as of Thursday morning, sources say that – despite
her rumoured salary of $20 million a year – Kelly could leave NBC all together.
To read more on this ongoing story, head to THR.com.
For The Hollywood Reporter News, I’m Lyndsey Rodrigues.