Nearly a year after she was unceremoniously fired by NBC (ostensibly for making insensitive remarks about wearing “blackface”), former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly returned to the network that brought her fame for a lengthy and engaging interview with Tucker Carlson.
While many topics were discussed, Carlson spent some time focused on Kelly’s termination from NBC — and he brought up a running theory that suggests there were some unstated motives behind her ouster.
The Daily Wire reported that Carlson strongly implied on his show earlier this week that, rather than due to outrage over Kelly’s comments about “blackface,” the star Today show anchor was fired because she had openly discussed on-air the allegations of sexual misconduct by NBC’s Matt Lauer and disgraced Hollywood financier Harvey Weinstein.
Kelly had called for an independent investigation of the claims against the men.
Carlson digs deeps
Speaking to Kelly, Carlson said: “Last September, early September, you, on your show, on the air on NBC, called for an independent investigation into these allegations.” He then played a clip of Kelly from her time at NBC.
“There is a question about whether or not there should be an outside investigator to take a hard look at this,” Kelly said at the time of the allegations and reports that NBC had tried to cover them up. “To me, as a lawyer, it’s just always better to just send it outside, and then people can have more faith in it and if there’s nothing to hide, you have no worries about it.”
Carlson was impressed. “People’s jaws hung open when you said that,” he said, adding: “There have been a couple of published accounts that say you were fired from NBC, a little more than a month later, for saying that.”
The truth about Kelly’s ouster
Carlson didn’t ask Kelly to comment on that, but went on to note that MSNBC host Chris Hayes also recently questioned how NBC handled the Lauer and Weinstein cases before he wondered aloud if Hayes’ job is now at risk.
Though she declined to remark on whether Hayes would suffer a similar fate, Kelly did grace Carlson with a response on the allegations.
“There needs to be an outside investigation into this company,” she said. “They investigated themselves. That doesn’t work. Fox News had an outside investigator, CBS News had an outside investigator, NPR, the NFL, this is how it’s done. You get somebody on the outside who can be trusted.”
The “official” reason Kelly had been summarily fired from NBC was her frank discussion of whether it was acceptable for someone to wear “blackface” for a Halloween costume, if it was done in a manner that was not stereotypical or purposefully offensive. But that justification from NBC never sat well with many observers, some of whom have noted that Kelly was a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement at the time.
We may never know for sure if Kelly was truly fired for her “blackface” remarks or for making NBC executives uncomfortable, but at least that possibility has been put out there by a big name like Carlson. May the investigations begin.