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News & Press: NABJ News

Firing of Megyn Kelly is warranted, says NABJ

Thursday, October 25, 2018  
Posted by: NABJ
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Firing of Megyn Kelly is warranted, says NABJ



Washington, D.C. (Oct. 25, 2018) -- The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is monitoring reports that Megyn Kelly's recent offensive comments about blackface Halloween costumes have led to some changes at NBC.

Although unconfirmed, several media outlets are reporting that Kelly is in the process of being cut from or reassigned at the network.

During Tuesday's broadcast of "Megyn Kelly Today," Kelly set off a firestorm of criticism inside and outside of NBC when she said it was OK when she was growing up for white people to dress up as black characters and there was nothing wrong with donning blackface. Colleagues inside NBC, including Al Roker and Craig Melvin, as well as other journalists, called her comments indefensible and insensitive. Kelly later apologized for her comments, saying that she had learned from the many who spoke out about the subject.

NABJ Vice President-Digital Roland Martin appeared on "Megyn Kelly Today" providing historical perspective on the issue of blackface and its offensive nature. He stressed the obligation of people in today's society to be educated about various cultures and racial insensitivities.

Citing the Kerner Commission Report and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., both occurring 50 years ago; Martin talked about the many ways insensitivity and lack of awareness has contributed to the continued abuse and disenfranchisement of people of color.

NABJ President Sarah Glover, who is employed by NBC, said that NABJ would like to see media organizations take bold steps to ensure that diversity and inclusion is practiced on-air and behind the scenes, and that black people and people of color are not affronted.

"Megyn Kelly's flip comments on blackface were inexcusable. It is imperative that media organizations work to maintain the trust of audiences," said President Glover. "The media industry has the power to inform, and an awesome responsibility to dispel ignorance and not encourage it."

Last year, the NABJ expressed its disappointment after Kelly was hired as the replacement for Tamron Hall, a successful "Today" show co-host at that time, in part because of Kelly's history of on-air offensive remarks regarding people of color.

NABJ will continue to monitor developments at NBC and other media companies to assist with opportunities to help with workforce diversity, equity and inclusion.

"I hope that NBC will take the appropriate action in dealing with this very unfortunate situation," said NABJ Vice President-Broadcast Dorothy Tucker.

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About the National Association of Black Journalists:
An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide.

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