By Blake Neff – MSNBC confirmed Sunday morning that it has cut ties with Melissa Harris-Perry after her very public attack on the network over having her airtime repeatedly preempted by election coverage.
Rumors of Harris-Perry’s imminent departure have been flying ever since Friday’s publication of an email where Harris-Parry accused the cable network of trying to silence her and sideline her program. (RELATED: Here Are Melissa Harris-Perry’s Most Idiotic Moments)
The shift was confirmed Sunday morning when Harris-Perry made a farewell post on Twitter:
— Melissa Harris-Perry (@MHarrisPerry) February 28, 2016
Meanwhile, the network itself confirmed with The New York Times that Harris-Perry was getting the boot. While severance terms are still being negotiated, there is no longer any hope of a reconciliation between the two parties.
NBC News is in the middle of an aggressive reconstruction of MSNBC in an effort to boost weak ratings, and in her email, Harris-Perry complained that multiple preemptions of her show had left her feeling “worthless.” She announced that she would be going on strike against her own program unless it was treated with more respect.
“I have stayed in the same hotels where MSNBC has been broadcasting in Iowa, in New Hampshire, and in South Carolina, yet I have been shut out from coverage,” she said. “I have a PhD in political science and have taught American voting and elections at some of the nation’s top universities for nearly two decades, yet I have been deemed less worthy to weigh in than relative novices and certified liars.”
Harris-Perry has routinely been mocked for some of the positions she has pushed while on air, such as comparing the deportation of illegal immigrants to the Fugitive Slave Act and complaining about Star Wars villain Darth Vader being portrayed as white despite being voiced by a black man. She has also landed in hot water for other controversies, such as ridiculing Mitt Romney’s adopted black grandson and being hit with a five-figure tax lien by the IRS.
Given that past, it is perhaps unsurprising that the final break between Harris-Perry and NBC came about after executives tried to stop her from discussing the politics of Beyoncé’s new single “Formation.” While Harris-Perry won out and discussed the single on her Feb. 7 show, she hasn’t been allowed on the air since.
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