Last week, things became extremely tense between MSNBC and one of its most popular hosts, Melissa Harris-Perry, when she revealed that she was in a behind-the-scenes battle with the network after they abruptly stopped airing her 4-year-old weekend show, which bears her name. For days, fans wondered what would happen to Harris-Perry and her Saturday morning news series, and now MSNBC has finally confirmed Harris-Perry’s fate.
As previously reported, the problem began a month ago when MSNBC began pre-empted her show in favor of coverage for the election season. Just a few weeks later, Harris-Perry’s show stopped airing altogether, leaving her fate at the network in limbo. Last week, Harris-Perry wrote an email to her coworkers, complaining that she felt MSNBC didn’t value her anymore and that they had taken her show away from her.
“Here is the reality: Our show was taken — without comment or discussion or notice — in the midst of an election season,” she wrote. “After four years of building an audience, developing a brand and developing trust with our viewers, we were effectively and utterly silenced.”
Harris-Perry then fired off that she wasn’t going to be the network’s token Black host that could just be pushed around.
“I will not be used as a tool for their purposes,” she wrote. “I am not a token, mammy, or little brown bobblehead. I am not owned by Lack, Griffin or MSNBC. I love our show. I want it back.”
Unfortunately, it looks like Harris-Perry and MSNBC couldn’t come to an agreement because yesterday an NBC spokesperson confirmed that the network is “parting ways” with Harris-Perry.
According to media reports, sources claim that the split between Harris-Perry and NBC became inevitable after her email was made public, saying that an unnamed executive deemed the email as “destructive.”
It’s disappointing, to say the least, that such a brilliant Black news and anchor and host like Harris-Perry won’t be seen on MSNBC on a weekly basis. For the sake of her devoted fans, we hope that Harris-Perry lands another news series on a different network.