US TV host Megyn Kelly gets NZ$44 million payout

Megyn Kelly’s fate at NBC was sealed when she pondered why “blackface” is frowned upon during a live panel discussion last year

Megyn Kelly was midway through a lucrative contract that paid her US$69 million over three years.

"The parties have resolved their differences, and Megyn Kelly is no longer an employee of NBC", the company said in a statement.

In October, Kelly caused mass pandemonium after commenting on her morning talk show program that dressing up in blackface was no big deal when she was growing up - "as long as you were dressing like a character". And "Megyn Kelly Today" was defined by disappointing ratings and awkward moments, with the host sometimes seeming ill-suited for the bubbly world of morning television.

News and Megyn Kelly have officially cut ties after protracted exit negotiations prompted by the star host's controversial remarks on racially provocative Halloween costumes.

"What is racist?" she said on the show.

Last September, Kelly publicly contradicted part of Lack's account about why NBC opted not to air Ronan Farrow's reporting about Harvey Weinstein.

There's no non-compete clause, meaning Kelly is free to seek other television work if she wants to.

"You'll definitely see me back on", she replied, adding that her first priority is to get a new dog.

She then defended a white reality star who dressed as singer Diana Ross, saying, "I felt like, who doesn't love Diana Ross?" At one point, she asked what costumes could be considered racist.

Last week, NBC announced that Al Roker would be taking over Kelly's slot on the 9 a.m. hour of Today.

Kelly has been an ardent supporter of the #MeToo movement, a position that irked NBC executives who thought she focused on it too much. And Lack condemned Kelly's comments at a town hall, a clear sign that she had lost the support of the executive who helped woo her to the network. While it was reported past year that NBC was expected to pay out the rest of Kelly's contract in full, the two parties continued to negotiate other terms, including non-compete and non-disclosure clauses.



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