The negotiations are finally over: Megyn Kelly is out the door.
NBC announced Friday night that it has reached a final exit agreement (see: payout) with Kelly, whose departure was prompted when she questioned on air whether wearing blackface as part of a Halloween costume is actually racist. The former Fox News host was only halfway through her three-year, multi-million contract with NBC when she made the shocking comment during Megyn Kelly Today.
“The parties have resolved their differences, and Megyn Kelly is no longer an employee of NBC,” according to an NBC News statement.
The New York Times reports that Kelly was paid roughly $30 million, the outstanding balance on her $69 million, three-year contract.
Kelly’s last appearance on Today was on Oct. 24, when she apologized for her remarks that occurred during a panel discussion about Halloween the day before.
“But what is racist?” Kelly, 48, asked Jacob Soboroff, Melissa Rivers, and Jenna Bush Hager during a discussion about censoring Halloween costumes. “Because truly you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface at Halloween or a black person who puts on white face for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was okay as long as you were dressing up as like a character.”
Kelly apologized twice — first in an internal email to colleagues and then on air — but the backlash was huge. By December, word already surfaced that Kelly was talking to NBC about departing for good.
In January 2017, NBC canceled the third hour of the Today show to make room for Megyn Kelly Today, which premiered in September 2017.