Megyn Kelly’s First Week at NBC Got Attention for All the Wrong Reasons

She might be done with politics. But Kelly’s talent for delivering cringeworthy moments remains.

It’s Friday and Megyn Kelly might need something stronger than a mimosa to get her to the weekend.

Despite her new NBC morning show’s promise to be a “fun and uplifting” experience, Kelly’s debut this week has been anything but. Megyn Kelly Today, which premiered Monday, was widely panned by critics, many who say the clunky rollout has only underscored NBC’s inability to figure out just what to do with Kelly in its roster. Early numbers also indicate the show is struggling to find an audience. 

The former Fox News host has had trouble interviewing her celebrity guests. Strung together, the segments show that while Kelly might profess to be done with politics, her reputation for delivering cringeworthy moments is far from over.

Here are some of the worst moments from Kelly’s debut this week: 

While interviewing the cast of Will & Grace, Kelly asks a fan whether he “became gay” after watching the character Will:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQVwoImSnds  

She then repeatedly referred to his sexuality as the “gay thing:” The fan took the question in stride, but her choice of words and questions did not go unnoticed. Debra Messing later said she regretted appearing on the show, saying she was unaware that the cast’s PR tour included a stop on Kelly’s show: 

Kelly asks Jane Fonda about her plastic surgery, clearly irritating the legendary actress. “We really want to talk about that right now?” Fonda shot back. 

Ignoring Kelly’s question, Fonda proceeded to discuss her upcoming movie with Robert Redford: “Seemed like the wrong time and place to ask that question,” Fonda later told Entertainment Tonight.

A member of Kelly’s camera crew accidentally gets in front of a shot. Upon realizing, he says “shit!” on live television:

And off air, midway into her first week, Elle publishes an interview with Kelly where she appears to blame ESPN’s Jemele Hill for courting controversy for calling Donald Trump a white supremacist:

Kelly’s response drew criticism on social media. Hill also weighed in with a succinct “LOL”:

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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