Megyn Kelly’s First Week at NBC Got Attention for All the Wrong Reasons

She might be done with politics. But Kelly’s talent for delivering cringeworthy moments remains.

It’s Friday and Megyn Kelly might need something stronger than a mimosa to get her to the weekend.

Despite her new NBC morning show’s promise to be a “fun and uplifting” experience, Kelly’s debut this week has been anything but. Megyn Kelly Today, which premiered Monday, was widely panned by critics, many who say the clunky rollout has only underscored NBC’s inability to figure out just what to do with Kelly in its roster. Early numbers also indicate the show is struggling to find an audience. 

The former Fox News host has had trouble interviewing her celebrity guests. Strung together, the segments show that while Kelly might profess to be done with politics, her reputation for delivering cringeworthy moments is far from over.

Here are some of the worst moments from Kelly’s debut this week: 

While interviewing the cast of Will & Grace, Kelly asks a fan whether he “became gay” after watching the character Will:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQVwoImSnds  

She then repeatedly referred to his sexuality as the “gay thing:” The fan took the question in stride, but her choice of words and questions did not go unnoticed. Debra Messing later said she regretted appearing on the show, saying she was unaware that the cast’s PR tour included a stop on Kelly’s show: 

Kelly asks Jane Fonda about her plastic surgery, clearly irritating the legendary actress. “We really want to talk about that right now?” Fonda shot back. 

Ignoring Kelly’s question, Fonda proceeded to discuss her upcoming movie with Robert Redford: “Seemed like the wrong time and place to ask that question,” Fonda later told Entertainment Tonight.

A member of Kelly’s camera crew accidentally gets in front of a shot. Upon realizing, he says “shit!” on live television:

And off air, midway into her first week, Elle publishes an interview with Kelly where she appears to blame ESPN’s Jemele Hill for courting controversy for calling Donald Trump a white supremacist:

Kelly’s response drew criticism on social media. Hill also weighed in with a succinct “LOL”:

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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