Megyn Kelly's Jane Fonda jab may cost 'Today' star bookings

Is Megyn Kelly’s Monday morning take-down of Jane Fonda – in which Kelly invoked Fonda’s Vietnam-era Hanoi Jane sobriquet – the first of more provocations? Or was it a one-off?

Those close to Kelly tell The Hollywood Reporter that she had had enough of Fonda’s insults stemming from an interview on Megyn Kelly Today back in September, during the first week of Kelly’s show. That’s when Fonda abruptly shut down Kelly’s questions about plastic surgery, a topic Fonda has openly discussed in past media appearances.

The tipping point was a Jan. 20 interview Fonda did with Variety in which she said she was “stunned” by the question, asserting that it “showed that [Kelly] is not that good an interviewer.” She added that she would come back on Kelly’s show “if she comes around and learns her stuff.”

Kelly prepared the script over the weekend and delivered it during the final minutes of Monday’s show. NBC News management was aware of her impending remarks, sources tell THR.

See photos of Megyn Kelly:

68 PHOTOS
Megyn Kelly through the years
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Megyn Kelly through the years
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Monday, January 22, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Wednesday Jan. 10, 2018 -- (Photo by: Zach Pagano/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly and Al Roker on Thursday, January 4, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Wednesday, December 3, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Holiday Gift Ideas on Thursday, December 21, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Patti LaBelle on Friday, December 15, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Thursday, December 14, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Thursday, December 7, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Friday, December 1, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 30: Megyn Kelly and Diana Williams attend the 2017 Gold & Silver Circle Induction Ceremony at The Lambs Club on November 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Mack/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 30: Presenter Megyn Kelly and Silver Circle Inductee Susan Lucci at the 2017 Gold & Silver Circle Induction Ceremony at The Lambs Club on November 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Mack/Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Thursday, November 30, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 29: Megyn Kelly, NBC News Anchor and host of 'Megyn Kelly Today' speaks onstage with Alyson Shontell at IGNITION: Future of Media at Time Warner Center on November 29, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Luke Piazza, Megyn Kelly and Alex Voglewede on Tuesday Nov. 28, 2017 -- (Photo by: Tyler Essary/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly and Karen Tack on Friday, November 17, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - November 15: Megyn Kelly attends the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Double Helix Medals Dinner at the American Museum of Natural History Street on November 15, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 14: Megyn Kelly is seen during an appearance on 'Access Hollywood' on November 14, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by MediaPunch/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Joe Worley, Stacy Persall and Megyn Kelly on Thursday, November 9, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: Megyn Kelly attends the 11th Annual Stand Up for Heroes at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on November 7, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Monday, November 6, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Thursday, September 28, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Monday, September 25, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb and Megyn Kelly on Friday, September 22, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0742 -- Pictured: Journalist Megyn Kelly arrives for an interview on September 21, 2017 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Megyn Kelly visits 'Extra' at Universal Studios Hollywood on September 19, 2017 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Megyn Kelly is seen on September 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by PG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: Douglas Brunt and journalist Megyn Kelly attend the 17th Annual USTA Foundation Opening Night Gala at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 28, 2017 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Monday, August 21, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC)
TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Thursday, July 6, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 26: Journalist Megyn Kelly arrives to discuss Douglas Brunt's new novel, 'Trophy Son,' during Douglas Brunt In Conversation with Megyn Kelly at Free Library of Philadelphia on June 26, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Monday, June 23, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 13: Megyn Kelly attends The 2017 Mirror Awards at Cipriani 42nd Street on June 13, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Friday, June 9, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Savannah Guthrie, Craig Melvin, Hoda Kotb, and Megyn Kelly on Monday, June 5, 2017 -- (Photo by: Zach Pagano/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA JUNE 2, 2017: NBC News Anchor Megyn Kelly waves at the plenary session at the 2017 St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2017) at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre. Mikhail Metzel/TASS Host Photo Agency (Photo by Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (2nd R) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) talk to journalist Megyn Kelly (R) on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) at the Constantine (Konstantinovsky) Palace, Russia, June 1, 2017. Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - JUNE 2, 2017: NBC News anchor Megyn Kelly moderates the plenary session of the 2017 St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2017) held at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre. Mikhail Metzel/TASS Host Photo Agency (Photo by Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15: Megyn Kelly attends the 2017 NBCUniversal Upfront at Radio City Music Hall on May 15, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Megyn Kelly attends 'Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between' Costume Institute Gala - Arrivals at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Rabbani and Solimene Photography/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25: Megyn Kelly attends the 2017 Time 100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
Fox News host Megyn Kelly greets the crowd before interviewing Republican presidential candidate Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, at Calvary Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C. (Travis Long/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 24: Megyn Kelly (C), Darth Vader and Stormtroopers from the 501st Legion attend New York Philharmonic's Spring Gala, A John Williams Celebration at David Geffen Hall on May 24, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for New York Philharmonic)
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 07: Fox News reporter Megyn Kelly attends the 142nd Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 07, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Joey Foley/FilmMagic)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0470 -- Pictured: Journalist Megyn Kelly during an interview on May 12, 2016 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Megyn Kelly attends the 'Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology' Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: Douglas Brunt and Megyn Kelly attend the 102nd White House Correspondents' Association Dinner on April 30, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
MEGYN KELLY presents: Megyn Kelly (R) and Donald Trump (L) during the FOX special 'MEGYN KELLY presents' airing Tuesday, May 17 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by Eric Liebowitz/FOX via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY presents: Megyn Kelly (R) interviews Michael Douglas (L) during the FOX Special MEGYN KELLY presents airing Tuesday, May 17 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by Eric Liebowitz/FOX via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 08: Journalist Megyn Kelly attends Variety's Power Of Women: New York 2016 at Cipriani Midtown on April 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 06: Megyn Kelly attends the 7th Annual Women in the World Summit Opening Night at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on April 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/FilmMagic)
Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly waits to begin the Republican presidential candidate debate at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. Candidates from both parties are crisscrossing Iowa, an agricultural state of about 3 million people in the U.S. heartland that will hold the first votes of the 2016 election on Feb. 1. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
DES MOINES, IA - JANUARY 28: Moderators Chris Wallace (L) pats on the shoulder of Megyn Kelly (2nd L) as they wait with Bret Baier (R) for the beginning of the Fox News - Google GOP Debate January 28, 2016 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa. Residents of Iowa will vote for the Republican nominee at the caucuses on February 1. Donald Trump, who is leading most polls in the state, decided not to participate in the debate. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Megyn Kelly appears on ABCs 'Good Morning America,' Friday, February 5, 2016. 'Good Morning America' airs Monday Friday (7-9am, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) MEGYN KELLY
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0411 -- Pictured: (l-r) Journalist Megyn Kelly during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on February 4, 2016 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Megyn Kelly appears on ABCs 'Good Morning America,' Friday, February 5, 2016. 'Good Morning America' airs Monday Friday (7-9am, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) MEGYN KELLY
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: News anchor Megyn Kelly speaks onstage during Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit - Day 2 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on October 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Fortune/Time Inc)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: TV personality Megyn Kelly attends the 2015 Time 100 Gala at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 21, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 29: Megyn Kelly attends the 2014 Time 100 Gala at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 29, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 080 -- Pictured: (l-r) Political commentator Megyn Kelly during an interview with host Seth Meyers on July 31, 2014 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 27: Megyn Kelly attends at the benefit concert for Army SPC Bryan Dilberain at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts on April 27, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 19: Kid Rock with host Megyn Kelly visits FOX's 'America Live' at FOX Studios on June 19, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - SEPTEMBER 22: Fox anchor Megyn Kelly prepares for the Fox News/Google GOP Debate at the Orange County Convention Center on September 22, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. The debate features the nine Republican candidates two days before the Florida straw poll. (Photo by Charles Ommanney/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 10: Megyn Kelly, host of America Live on set at Fox News studios in New York. Fox News Channel celebrated its 15th anniversary on the air on October 7th.
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Reaction inside and outside NBC News was swift and extreme. The View panelists – and guest host Ann Curry – tore Kelly apart. Joy Behar called her a “bitch”; minutes later, she apologized, rescinding the epithet. Wendy Williams accused Kelly of doing “it for ratings.” Inside NBC News, the characterizations included “outrageous” and “awful.” One person questioned the wisdom of using NBC News as a platform to “settle a personal score.”

Multiple talent representatives, none of whom would talk on the record, told THR that the Fonda monologue has made them think twice about booking their clients on Megyn Kelly Today. Others said it was the last straw. “Actors don’t trust her,” said one. On Thursday, gymnast Aly Raisman and "Fight Song" singer-songwriter Rachel Platten are booked for an interview. 

Of course, in the era of MeToo, journalists have been emboldened to ask tougher questions of celebrities on red carpets and beyond. (An NBC News representative says Kelly has not lost any bookings since Monday’s show.)

Kelly's show has evolved away from the celebrity-driven vehicle it may have appeared to be in week one, when the NBCUniversal synergy machine stocked Megyn Kelly Today with actors, the vast majority promoting NBCUniversal properties at the beginning of the new TV season.

But since the Harvey Weinstein story broke in early October, Kelly – who was a central voice in the harassment scandal that brought down Fox News CEO Roger Ailes – has forcefully taken up the harassment beat. So much so that days after Matt Lauer was fired from Today amid sexual harassment complaints, she invited Lauer and his accusers on her show – something that raised eyebrows inside NBC News at the time.

See photos of Jane Fonda:

29 PHOTOS
Jane Fonda in the '50s, '60s and '70s
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Jane Fonda in the '50s, '60s and '70s
7/21/59-New York: Provocative Jane Fonda, daughter of film star Henry Fonda, looks sultry as she poses here July 21st before boarding a TWA jetliner to Los Angeles. Miss Fonda, 20, is to co-star with Tony Perkins in her first movie role in 'The Way The Ball Bounces.' She is five feet, eleven inches tall and measures 36-21-35. She admits that being the daughter of a famous actor helps in breaking into show business.
Jane Fonda, circa 1960. (Photo by Columbia Pictures/Getty Images)
American actors Anthony Perkins (1932 - 1992), as Ray Blent, and Jane Fonda as June Ryder, in 'Tall Story', directed by Joshua Logan, 1960. The film is Fonda's debut. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
Jane Fonda publicity portrait for the film 'Tall Story', 1960. (Photo by Warner Brothers/Getty Images)
circa 1960: Promotional studio portrait of American actor Jane Fonda wearing a black evening gown. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
circa 1960: Promotional studio portrait of American actor Jane Fonda kneeling with her hands on her knees, for her first film, director Joshua Logan's film, 'Tall Story'. She wears a dark top and short shorts. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Jane Fonda in a sultry pose for a publicity portrait. She wears sheer clothing and holds her hands up behind her head. Ca. 1960-1970.
LOS ANGELES - CIRCA 1962: Actress Jane Fonda and husband Roger Vadim attend a party in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Earl Leaf/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Jane Fonda American actress, 31.08.1962. (Photoshot/Getty Images)
American actress Jane Fonda, circa 1962. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
The American actress Jane Fonda wears the clinging space suit of Barbarella, the leading role in the homonymous movie directed by her husband Roger Vadim; she looks stuck in some dangerous situation into the futuristic scenography. Rome (Italy), 1967.. (Photo by Marisa Rastellini/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
The American actors John Phillip Law and Jane Fonda talk together into Dino De Laurentis Studios during the filming of Roger Vadim's Barbarella; Fonda has the leading role of astronaut Barbarella while Law interprets the blind angel named Pygar. Rome (Italy), 1967.. (Photo by Marisa Rastellini/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
FRANCE � 1964: Alain Delon And Jane Fonda On The Set Of The Movie 'Les F�ins' Directed By Ren�Cl�ent, In France, In 1964 . (Photo by Giancarlo BOTTI/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Jane Fonda, Jean Claude Brialy et Marie Jos�Nat sur le tournage du film de Roger Vadim 'La Ronde' en 1964, France . (Photo by REPORTERS ASSOCIES/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
23rd January 1965: American actress Jane Fonda at the Savoy Hotel, London holds a press reception. (Photo by Kaye/Express/Getty Images)
American actress Jane Fonda with her husband, French director Roger Vadim (1928 - 2000), California, December 1965. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)
23rd January 1965: Actress Jane Fonda in the Savoy Hotel, London puts her feet up and enjoys a relaxing cigarette. (Photo by Kaye/Express/Getty Images)
American actress Jane Fonda, Hollywood, USA, December 1965. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)
FRANCE - NOVEMBER 14: Film Of Roger Vadim. 19651114 Film By Roger Vadim. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
Jane Fonda, US actress, wearing a pink puff sleeve blouse and drop earrings, in a studio portrait, against a red background, circa 1965. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
Jane Fonda on bed in a scene from the film 'Circle Of Love', 1965. (Photo by Continental Distributing/Getty Images)
Jane Fonda and baby daughter Vanessa Vadim at the Belvedere Hostpital in Paris, France (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
American actress Jane Fonda in a pink, floral blouse and yellow slacks, circa 1968. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
Jane Fonda, US actress, in a publicity portrait issued for the film, 'Barbarella', 1968. The science fiction film, directed by Roger Vadim (1928-2000), starred Fonda as 'Barbarella'. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
Jane Fonda sur le tournage de 'Metzengerstein' r�lis�par Roger Vadim en 1968, �Sibiril, France . (Photo by REPORTERS ASSOCIES/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
A year after leaving Ted Turner, former actress Jane Fonda says she has radically changed her life - giving up her famed exercise regimen to write a book about her controversial days as a Vietnam War era peace activist. In an interview with Barbara Walters for ABC's "20/20" to be aired February 9, 2001, Fonda, 63, whose workout videos helped spark the fitness craze of the 1980s and '90s, said she has largely given up exercise because it interferes with her writing. She is shown in a September 26, 1997 file photo. SV
LOS ANGELES - APRIL 20: Actress Jane Fonda attends Jane Fonda's Second Annual Celebrity Auction to Benefit the Cancer Project of the CED Education Fund on April 20, 1980 at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Jane Fonda during 1980 American Movie Awards at Wilshire Theater in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
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But going all in on the scourge of harassment allegations that have rocked Hollywood, the media and beyond has allowed Kelly to appeal to morning TV’s largely female demographic, while not appearing to go soft. (Megyn Kelly Today is averaging close to three million viewers and is up year-over-year in key female demographics.)

"It's perfect for her," notes TV news analyst Andrew Tyndall. 

With the Fonda throw-down – during which Kelly dredged up the actress's controversial anti-war activism, including Fonda's statements about American POWs –Kelly once again waded into America's culture wars. 

“Of all the things that she’s staked her career on, likeability is not a factor," adds Tyndall. "What this tells me is that Megyn is trying to carve out the niche for herself, which is 'I’m going to be harder, I’m going to be the hard person at 9.' She is saying, 'I will not back away from asking tough questions even if it makes me look like a bully or rude or crossing a line. It’s better that I have the reputation for asking tough questions.'"

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