For most employable humans on this planet, saying racist things in public would be grounds for immediate termination with no pay. Megyn Kelly isn’t most people.
Almost three months and $69 million later, the disgraced TV host who got suspended for her thoughtless on-air remarks about blackface in late 2018, is no longer an employee of NBC. The dollar amount represents the total Kelly stood to earn from her three-year contract, had she stuck around for all of it.
In other words: NBC bought Kelly out of her contract. Megyn Kelly Today launched in Sept. 2017, so she didn’t even make it halfway through her three-year commitment before the network decided it was wiser to just fork over $69 million and show her the door immediately.
As The Hollywood Reporter notes via an unnamed source, Kelly’s contract didn’t even include a non-compete clause that would prevent her from walking right into another job.
Her NBC job has been in limbo since Oct. 2018. At the time, the network pulled her off the air after Kelly defended the use of blackface when it’s part of a Halloween costume. Her remarks prompted an immediate outcry that led to Kelly’s suspension and eventual removal from Today.
(There isn’t any time or occasion in the 21st century that makes blackface OK for white people, to be clear. Not a single one.)
Kelly’s exit from NBC was greeted on social media with a mix of celebration and critical barbs directed at the network. Most seem to agree that she needed to go, but there’s a great deal of puzzlement over the decision to hire her in the first place. Many predicted when the former Fox News pundit was brought in that Kelly’s tenure at NBC would end in disgrace. And hey, here we are.
For Halloween we all should be Megyn Kelly. Just go up to people, say offensive racist things all night and somehow walk away with 69 million pieces of candy. https://t.co/DVJFeX8AaY
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) January 12, 2019
Hard to overstate what an own-goal this was. NBC hires a privileged Fox conservative with a history of stupid racist comments, and it takes her all of a year and a half to get fired for stupid racist comments. And they still had to pay her $69 million.https://t.co/WTWHhUopEg
— Gary Legum (@GaryLegum) January 12, 2019
Megyn Kelly got paid more for failing than most other people will ever make for succeeding.
— Imran Khan (@imranzomg) January 12, 2019
Everyone with a functional brain knew NBC displayed very poor judgement by hiring “Megyn Kelly”
— R Joseph (@rjoseph7777) January 12, 2019
Megyn Kelly is getting paid the full $69 million for being a horrible human being.
Sounds on par for 2019.
— RiotGrl🥀 (@ErinLea7) January 12, 2019
It’s actually quite impressive how catastrophically NBC’s decision to hire Megyn Kelly has backfired on them: full $69 million spent for half a contract + building a brand new (now abandoned) studio for lower ratings and bad press on its flagship show.https://t.co/SK3gCnQmrn pic.twitter.com/U2JUn1ePPM
— Reed F. Richardson (@reedfrich) January 12, 2019
Sometimes the peanut gallery has a point. Maybe NBC should have read the room a little better back when hiring Kelly was only a possibility.