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Why Megyn Kelly Should Have Been Fired

Megyn Kelly was recently fired from her job at NBC for comments she made on her show Megyn Kelly Today. Some people think that her firing was justified, while others are angry and think that NBC used her comments as an excuse to get rid of her. As a journalist who understands the importance of free speech, I think that NBC made the right decision.

For those of you who don’t know, Kelly is a journalist who got her start with Fox News in 2004 and left the network to join NBC last year. She was very popular on Fox over the years and had her own show for four years. You might recognize Kelly from the numerous headlines made after Trump made a rude and sexist comment directed at her for asking tough questions during one of the Republican presidential debates.

Despite her no-nonsense attitude and tough questions during this debate and her political affiliation with the Independence Party, people associate Kelly with the political right. This association is the primary reason why people think Kelly was “unjustly” fired. However, Kelly is fairly moderate and NBC would never have hired her to begin with if her politics were an issue.

Apparently, there had been awkward moments on Kelly’s show before the incident that got her fired, which happens to the best of hosts, but the last straw was a comment she made about blackface. Around Halloween, there are a lot of issues with people wearing culturally insensitive and racist costumes. Kelly said that she doesn’t understand why it’s racist to paint your skin a different color.

“When I was a kid, it was okay as long as you were dressing up like a character,” she said. Kelly was not a kid in the 1930s, so no, it was not okay. By the time Kelly was growing up in the 70s and 80s, racial attitudes had changed and people understood the history of blackface and that it’s inherently racist.

Some could argue that what she said was innocent and coming from a place of ignorance, but she clearly knew that blackface is racist, just not why. She is an educated journalist and should have done her research ahead of time. A quick Google search would have told her why blackface is an issue. Asking about an easily Google-able and controversial topic on air is grossly unprofessional.

Defending blackface is ignorant and racist, and a high-status individual like Kelly doing this on live television perpetuates the issue by making people think it’s okay. The fact that she did this while on live television is a huge part of the problem, but had she posted about it online or publicly spoke about it in her private life, she still might have been fired.

Journalists represent the network or publication they work for and everything they do or say reflects on their outlet. NBC does not want to be known as a network that’s okay with racism, so they decided to completely remove the person giving them this image. A lesser-known journalist would have instantly been fired for these remarks, and Kelly doesn’t deserve a free pass just because she’s famous.

Gillian was the Campus Correspondent for Her Campus at Ithaca from September 2018 to May 2019. She was a journalism major and anthropology minor at Ithaca College and graduated in May 2019. Gillian enjoys reading, writing, Harry Potter, the Sims and grilled cheese. 
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