On Monday at the "Today Show", the hosts of Hoda Kotb, Al Roker and Craig Melvin ushered in a new installment of the third hour of the venerable NBC News franchise, or as Kotb dubbed it, "a new chapter" . From the highly publicized departure of former Fox News star Megyn Kelly from the popular morning show, Kotb promised that her "family" program would continue to bring "important and informative stories to the public, as we have always done."
"Today, as you know, we are starting a new chapter in the third hour of our program as it evolves," Kotb told viewers. However, Kotb and his experts still did not mention their former co-star once, according to The Daily Beast.
Outside the camera, a different scene was unfolding as the exit negotiations between Kelly's lawyer and his employer were ongoing, according to The Hollywood Reporter:
Sources say the conversations naturally slowed down a bit over the weekend, but increased again on Monday. Among the issues that the parties are haggling: money and a non-disclosure clause and no disrespect. The sources say The Hollywood Reporter that Kelly is resisting an NDA.
Such clauses are standard in exit agreements, even those that are not complicated. But the NDAs have also come under renewed scrutiny in the #MeToo era. And many media companies, including Fox News, Kelly's former employer, have renounced the NDAs in an effort to get victims of sexual harassment and misconduct to come forward.
The visual image of three color anchors launching a new show took on a great breadth after Kelly retired from her self-titled hour days before. This after the former Fox News star questioned whether blackface was actually racist during a segment called "Halloween Costume Disguise" that targeted "inappropriate" and "offensive" teams, with Kelly specifically invoking "The Real Housewives of New York ", the star Luann de Lesseps The controversial costume of Diana Ross.
The next day, Melvin said Kelly's comments were "stupid" and "indefensible" in the air. "She owes a bigger apology to people of color across the country," Roker added. And NBC News president Andy Lack even went so far as to condemn the star who signed for a three-year contract for a maximum value of $ 23 million per year to employees of the news division at a town hall, saying: "I condemn those statements" There is no place in our air or in this place of work for them ".
Earlier this month rumors circulated that NBC staff was anticipating Kelly's departure in the morning after a low rating and a series of errors in the air. Kelly previously saying a fan of "Will & Grace" that "gay" could "work very well" for him and he escalated a fight with Jane Fonda for plastic surgery, to name a few. It was not the first time that Kelly made racial and insensitive comments. In Fox, for example, she discussed infamous that both Jesus and Santa Claus were white.
In a opinion article for Salon, Amanda Marcotte previously wrote on that same subject:
Leaving aside the tense question of whether there is a Santa Claus, his legend apparently is based on a man born in Turkey. Jesus, if he existed, was a man from the Middle East who I lived long before the concept. of "whiteness" was invented. More importantly, both figures can be safely understood as mythical rather than historical, and can later be interpreted to make them look like people … It was only a matter of time before Kelly said something nasty racist on the "Today" show "