Melissa Harris-Perry "Unlikely" To Return To Show After Conflicts With MSNBC
Harris-Perry doesn't want to be a "token, mammy or little brown bobble head" to MSNBC.
More details have come to light following Melissa Harris-Perry's decision to distance herself from her TV show and MSNBC executives.
News of Harris-Perry's decision not to host her eponymous show Melissa Harris-Perry came Friday (Feb. 26) after she wrote an email to employees this week about her showing being "silenced" by NBC News executives.The email was published with her approval to Medium Friday. NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack and MSNBC President Phil Griffin are currently working to restructure the network.
Harris said the show was deemed "worthless" by Lack and Griffin.
"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. Now, MSNBC would like me to appear for four inconsequential hours to read news that they deem relevant without returning to our team any of the editorial control and authority that makes MHP Show distinctive."
Known for her approach on social injustice with conversations about race and diversity, Harris-Perry's show seemed to be going in a different direction-- politics. CNN Money has reported the last time Harris-Perry hosted her show, she butted with executives over her coverage of Beyonce's surprise single "Formation." While executives wanted her to discuss the current 2016 election, Harris-Perry wanted to discuss the politically charged music video that highlighted Hurricane Katrina, Black pride and the Black Lives Matter movement.
"Her executive producer had to fight for it," a source said. Since then, she hasn't hosted, leaving a space for more election coverage on Saturdays and Sundays for her 10 a.m. to noon Eastern slot.
While Harris-Perry hasn't confirmed if her show has been canceled, she did hint that executives don't believe she has the experience to cover politics. "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 wrote. "I have hosted a weekly program on this network for four years and contributed to election coverage on this network for nearly eight years, but no one on the third floor has even returned an email, called me, or initiated or responded to any communication of any kind from me for nearly a month." She continued, "It is profoundly hurtful to realize that I work for people who find my considerable expertise and editorial judgment valueless to the coverage they are creating."
Harris-Perry's contract with the network ends in October. Sources have reportedly claimed it is highly unlikely she will return.
The talk show host used her weekend to team up with Wake The Vote, a program that helps students from Wake Forest Universty to develop their own ideas about their favorite presidential candidate.
Only time will tell what Harris-Perry or MSNBC will do to save or perhaps, scrap the show.