The Today show shakeup with Al Roker and Tamron Hill leaving the show and former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly coming aboard has upset the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), which has accused NBC of “whitewashing” its morning show.
NABJ released a statement:
The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is saddened by Tamron Hall's departure from NBC. She broke ground as the first black female "Today Show" cohost and was enjoying ratings success alongside Al Roker during the show's third hour of programming.
NBC has been a leader for diversity in broadcasting, but recent reports that Hall and Roker will be replaced by former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly are being seen by industry professionals as whitewashing…
Kelly has a well-documented history of offensive remarks regarding people of color. On The Kelly File, her Fox News show, the host said then-First Lady Michelle Obama's commencement address at Tuskegee University pandered to a "culture of victimization."
NBC countered with its own statement assuring, “NBC News has a long and proven history as an industry leader in newsroom diversity” along with a promise to continue “the running dialogue” with the NABJ they’ve had for years.
According to The Wrap, Hall is leaving NBC after her 9 a.m. hour of the Today show was canceled but also because she couldn’t come to an agreement on her “multi-year, multi-million dollar contract.” Roker will continue as that hour's host until the fall.
NABJ has requested a meeting with NBC heads to talk about “the top-rated show’s dismantling” and the broadcast company’s commitment to hiring black journalists “in front and behind the camera.”
Black Twitter responded with the usual vitriol:
“Replacing Tamron Hall for the racist ‘santa is white’ bitch. K”
“And to get rid of Tamron Hall in favor of the twit Megyn Kelly? Nope.”
“Not a good way to start Black History Month”
Obviously, these aren't uninformed, emotional reactions. These people know the ins and outs of contract law and people’s personal decision-making.