NBC is catching major heat over its decision to cut Black female anchor Tamron Hall‘s morning show to make a slot for new hire Megyn Kelly.
Page Six reports that the National Association of Black Journalists is accusing the network of “whitewashing” after Hall’s departure. The organization sent a letter to NBC, writing, “The National Association of Black Journalists is saddened by Tamron Hall’s departure from NBC. She broke ground as the first black female ‘Today’ show co-host and was enjoying ratings success alongside Al Roker during the show’s third hour of programming. NBC has been a leader for diversity in broadcasting, but recent reports that Hall and Roker will be replaced by former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly are being seen by industry professionals as whitewashing.”
The NABJ didn’t stop there. The letter continued on, putting Kelly on blast for past controversial comments she made on her show The Kelly File. The organization wrote, “Kelly has a well-documented history of offensive remarks regarding people of color. On ‘The Kelly File,’ her Fox News show, the host said then-First Lady Michelle Obama’s commencement address at Tuskegee University pandered to a ‘culture of victimization.’ While NABJ wishes Hall well on her next move, NABJ requests a meeting with NBC leadership on the top-rated show’s dismantling. We look forward to dialogue and resolve regarding black journalists and their continuing roles at NBC both in front and behind the camera.”
NBC, which announced on Wednesday that Hall will not be returning to the network after a 10-year partnership, issued a statement in response to NABJ: “NBC News has a long and proven history as an industry leader in newsroom diversity. We will continue to engage in the running dialogue we’ve had for many years with the National Association of Black Journalists and other advocacy groups to advance those goals.”
Hall was offered a new contract and insiders say the network expected her to stay in her roles at The Today Show and MSNBC, but the anchor walked away from the deal. Do you agree with the NABJ’s claims?