Remember back in October when Megyn Kelly said this comment about blackface that was—um, cringeworthy at least? It was what ultimately led to her demise over at NBC, but it’s taken them this long to negotiate an exit agreement that would suit both parties. The initial wave of backlash from the public over the comment on her morning show initially caused Megyn Kelly’s talent agency to dump her, along with other members of her staff to jump ship.
The Initial Scandal
When Kelly hosted a panel about Halloween costumes she probably didn’t expect the lighthearted topic to be a career-ending scandal. The panel ended badly, when Kelly decided to proclaim that politically correctness was out of control. The panel only went downhill from there, Jack Soboroff announced that to him, freedom of speech means that you should be able to dress in a racist Halloween costume without being scrutinized by your peers. Kelly then announced that she felt that blackface was no big deal on Halloween, as long as you were dressing as a character. This is why we shouldn’t trust people named Megyn with a ‘y.’
As it turned out an apology tour on live TV, through email and in-person at NBC headquarters wasn’t enough to save Kelly from drowning in her own ignorance. Her segment was cancelled shortly after the panel and the two parties—NBC and Kelly—began working on an exit agreement. It took over two months, but NBC finally announced that the two parties had come to an agreement and moved on.
The final result came just last week, when Kelly agreed to take the remaining sum of her nearly $30 million contract with NBC. Kelly was halfway through a three-year contract with the company and had originally negotiated a sum of $29 million. It hardly seems like a punishment that Kelly got to retire a year and a half early and take her money with her. But the defamed anchor is still having a hard time earning respect after the comment.
The exit agreement reportedly came with a non-disparagement clause. The clause states that Kelly cannot talk about NBC or the time she spent with her colleagues in the time following her nasty parting from the company. Clauses like these are industry standard, especially if there was drama involved in how the employee left. In the meantime, Kelly has said that she’s been spending a lot of time with her family and focusing on herself in her NYC home. Seems pretty easy with $30 million in the bank.
Julia Sachs is a staff writer at Grit Daily. She covers tech, entrepreneurship and entertainment news and is based in Park City, Utah.