Megyn Kelly's tumultuous 2018: From celebrity feuds to controversial termination

When Megyn Kelly signed on for a multi-million dollar deal with NBC News to host her own daytime news talk show, Megyn Kelly Today, the former Fox News anchor was poised to make a major impact in the world of broadcast TV journalism.

After less than a year and a half, Kelly has certainly made an impact on the news -- but more as the subject of it rather than the disseminator. 

She endured a rough start with NBC in mid-2017, which included a controversial premiere interview with the cast of Will & Grace, a less-than-impressive exclusive interview with Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin, a controversial sit-down with right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and questionable remarks on a slew of different topics.

While much of the controversy was chalked up to Kelly settling into a new role with a new parent network, 2018 proved to be even worse for the longtime newswoman as she continued to make a lot of the same mistakes (with some of the same people) -- until it ultimately cost her her job. Here's a look back at Kelly's tumultuous year in the news.

Kelly Kicks Off the New Year Promoting Fat Shaming

Kelly wasn't even two weeks into the new year when she was already facing heat for a Megyn Kelly Today interview she conducted with fit mom-blogger Maria Kang, in which she suggested that Kang should turn "the shaming thing" into a professional business.

"Some of us want to be shamed," Kelly said. "When I was in law school, I was gaining weight. I said to my stepfather, 'If you see me going into that kitchen one more time, you say, 'Where you going, fat a**?' And it works!"

Needless to say, Kelly's remarks promoting fat shaming as a way of motivating women to lose weight didn't exactly go over well with many, and she soon found herself on the defensive, she issued an apology.

"I said something yesterday on this show that clearly struck a nerve, and I think it's a conversation we need to have, openly," she said during the following episode. "We were discussing body-shaming others, something I absolutely do not support. In fact, quite the opposite."

"Please know, I would never encourage that toward any person," she concluded. "I've been thinking a lot about why I once encouraged it toward myself. What I know for sure is that weight is an issue for millions of people, thin and heavy alike. And neither deserves to be judged or shamed for how they choose to handle that struggle."

Jane Fonda Reignites Feud With Kelly

28 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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While Kelly's chilly and awkward interview with Jane Fonda first made headlines in September 2017 after a question about plastic surgery, Fonda sparked tensions once more in January when she made an off-handed joke about the interview while promoting with Grace and Frankie on the Today show.

Hoda Kotb asked the Fonda and her longtime friend and co-star, Lily Tomlin, pair how long they'd known each other. Tomlin quipped, "A long time," before turning to Fonda to jokingly say, "I think before your first facelift."

Fonda quickly shot back, "Let's not go there. Who are you, Megyn Kelly?"

The actress dug in deeper during a Q&A with Variety a few days later, where she was asked about the infamously awkward interview with Kelly. "It wasn’t like I was upset. I was stunned. It was so inappropriate," Fonda said. "It showed that she’s not that good an interviewer."

When asked if she would ever return, Fonda said, "If she comes around and learns her stuff, sure."

The next day, Kelly decided to defend her original line of questioning, while at the same time shading the actress for being disingenuous.

"Well, the truth is most older women look nothing like Fonda, who is now 80. And if Fonda really wants to have an honest discussion about older women's cultural face, then her plastic surgery is tough to ignore," Kelly said. "She knows this, and that is why, to her credit, she’s discussed her cosmetic surgery pretty much everywhere before coming on our show."

Kelly Goes Toe-to-Toe With Putin Once Again

After scoring a historic exclusive interview with the Russian president back in June 2017 for an episode of Sunday Night, Kelly was roundly mocked for coming into the sit-down unprepared and for being outwitted and manipulated by the infamous politician.

So, when Kelly got the opportunity to try again she took it, and the results weren't much different. This time around, the reporter came at Putin with a more antagonistic tone and attempted to call him out on multiple controversies -- including Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election -- but Putin never faltered.

Many pundits and commentators called out the futility of the interview, considering how unlikely it would be for Putin to stray from his carefully crafted narrative of innocence. Additionally, Kelly and NBC were accused of inadvertently (or possibly purposefully) serving as a tool for the autocratic foreign leader to insinuate Russian propaganda into American culture. In the end, it was Kelly that took the heat for giving Putin yet another very public platform.

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Vladimir Putin and Megyn Kelly
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Vladimir Putin and Megyn Kelly
Russian President Vladimir Putin and NBC's journalist Megyn Kelly walk ahead of an interview at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia March 1, 2018. Picture taken March 1, 2018. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
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
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) speaks with journalist Megyn Kelly during an interview on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia, June 3, 2017. Picture taken June 3, 2017. Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an interview with NBC's journalist Megyn Kelly in Kaliningrad, Russia March 2, 2018. Picture taken March 2, 2018. Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during an interview with NBC's journalist Megyn Kelly at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia March 1, 2018. Picture taken March 1, 2018. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with US NBC news network anchor Megyn Kelly prior to an interview at the Kremlin on March 1, 2018 in Moscow. / AFP PHOTO / SPUTNIK / Michael Klimentyev (Photo credit should read MICHAEL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) speaks with US NBC news network anchor Megyn Kelly at the Kremlin on March 1, 2018 in Moscow. / AFP PHOTO / SPUTNIK / Alexei Druzhinin (Photo credit should read ALEXEI DRUZHININ/AFP/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MARCH 1, 2018: Pictured in this file image dated 1 March 2018 is journalist Megyn Kelly (L front) of NBC, a US TV network, and Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R front) during an interview at the Moscow Kremlin. Mikhail Klimentyev/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS (Photo by Mikhail Klimentyev\TASS via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MARCH 1, 2018: Pictured in this file image dated 1 March 2018 is journalist Megyn Kelly of NBC, a US TV network, before an interview with the president of Russia at the Moscow Kremlin. Mikhail Klimentyev/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS (Photo by Mikhail Klimentyev\TASS via Getty Images)
KALININGRAD, RUSSIA - MARCH 2, 2018: Pictured in this file image dated 2 March 2018 are Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) and journalist Megyn Kelly of NBC, a US TV network, during an interview. Alexei Druzhinin/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS (Photo by Alexei Druzhinin\TASS via Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - JUNE 2, 2017: US journalist and TV commentator Megyn Kelly, India's prime minister Narendra Modi, and Russia's president Vladimir Putin (L-R) at a plenary session on Day 2 of the 2017 St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2017). Vladimir Smirnov/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS (Photo by Vladimir Smirnov\TASS via Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA JUNE 5, 2017: Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) gives an interview to NBC News Anchor Megyn Kelly on the sidelines of the 2017 St Petersburg International Economic Forum. Alexei Druzhinin/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS (Photo by Alexei Druzhinin\TASS via Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - JUNE 2, 2017: NBC News anchor Megyn Kelly, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L-R) attend the plenary session of the 2017 St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2017) held at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre. Valery Sharifulin/TASS Host Photo Agency (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MARCH 1, 2018: Pictured in this file image dated 1 March 2018 is journalist Megyn Kelly of NBC, a US TV network, before an interview with the president of Russia at the Moscow Kremlin. Mikhail Klimentyev/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS (Photo by Mikhail Klimentyev\TASS via Getty Images)
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Charlize Theron Cast to Play Kelly in Upcoming Fox News Movie

Charlize Theron 1280
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

It was announced in May that Oscar winner Charlize Theron had been cast to play Kelly in a as-of-yet untitled drama that examines the sexual misconduct scandal surrounding the late Fox News CEO Roger Ailes.

"I think it's an important story," Theron told ET in September. "It was written really well, and I think it was the writing, and the filmmaker, that made me realize it was in the right hands… We need to tell these stories, for sure."

The project, written by The Big Short screenwriter Charles Randolph and helmed by Jay Roach, tells the story of the women at Fox News who stood up to the toxic atmosphere of harassment and intimidation and got Ailes fired from the network.

Some of the first photos of Theron in costume as Kelly on the set of the upcoming film surfaced in November, on the same day it was revealed that NBC had cancelled Megyn Kelly Today.

Kelly Fondly Attempts to Defend Blackface Costumes

On Oct. 23, Kelly discussed the trend of some universities banning certain Halloween costumes with her guests, TV personalities Jenna Bush Hager, Melissa Rivers and Jacob Soboroff.

"I have to give you a fair warning, I'm a little fired up about Halloween costumes this morning," Kelly began the segment. "I mean, truly, political correctness has gone amok."

While Kelly's remarks fell well within the boundaries of the politically conservative viewpoints she's expressed many times in the past -- especially during her time as a Fox News host and pundit -- she pushed her remarks a step further when she weighed in on the use of blackface in Halloween costumes.

"What is racist?" she questioned. "You do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface for Halloween, or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was OK, just as long as you were dressing as a character."

Later in the panel discussion, Kelly doubled down on her defense while citing a controversy surrounding Real Housewives of New York cast member Luann de Lesseps, who faced backlash in April when, during the show 10th season premiere, she attended a Halloween party dressed as legendary singer Diana Ross, and sported noticeably darker skin.

"There was a controversy on The Real Housewives of New York with Luann, as she dressed as Diana Ross and she made her skin look darker than it really is," Kelly said. "People said that that was racist! And I don't know, like, I thought, like, 'Who doesn't love Diana Ross?' She wants to look like Diana Ross for one day. I don't know how that got racist on Halloween. It's not like she's walking around [wearing blackface] in general."

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Megyn Kelly's rise to the top
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Megyn Kelly's rise to the top

Megyn Kelly was born in Illinois in 1970. She was a cheerleader throughout high school and told Katie Couric last year that at the time, she didn't have much ambition. Her father was a college professor and her mother was a nurse. Kelly's father died of a heart attack when she was 15.

Source: The Washington Post

tv.gawker.com

Kelly became more focused on her academics when she started college. She graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in political science in 1992 and went on to earn a JD from Albany Law School in 1995.

Source: Elle Magazine

FNC

Soon after, Kelly joined prominent law firm Bickel & Brewer as an associate. Later, she spent nine years working for Jones Day. She credits her background in practicing law with helping her stand her ground when interviewing politicians and CEOs.

Source: Fox News

(Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images)

Kelly entered the media sphere in 2003, when she started working as a general assignment reporter for an ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C. She covered multiple stories of national interest, including the 2004 presidential race.

Source: The Washington Post and Fox News

(LUKE FRAZZA/AFP/Getty Images)

Kelly joined Fox News one year later, in 2004. Former CNN President Jonathan Klein told The New York Times in 2015 that he regretted not hiring Kelly when she was starting out because she was "the one talent you'd want to have from somewhere else."

Source: The New York Times

Brendan McDermid/Reuters

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Kelly quickly established herself as a leading voice in political journalism while at Fox. She provided wall-to-wall coverage of critical events like the 2013 government shutdown, the Boston Marathon bombing, and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Source: Fox News

She also gained recognition for her take-no-prisoners approach to interviewing politicians and high-level officials from both sides of the aisle.

(Fox News)

In one attention-grabbing interview, she asked Republican strategist Karl Rove an awkward question when during the 2012 election, when he was forecasting the numbers Republican candidate Mitt Romney needed to win the election: "Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better, or is this real?"

Source: Business Insider

Her tenure at the network was not without controversy, though. Kelly attracted sharp criticism in 2013 following a segment during which she told the "kids watching at home" that "Santa just is white" and that "Jesus was a white man, too."

Watch the clip on YouTube »

Kelly was roundly criticized for the segment's historical inaccuracy — Santa Claus can be traced back to a real-life monk named St. Nicholas who was from Turkey — and for its racial undertones.

Source: The History Channel

(Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

The segment was lampooned by late-night political satire shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.

"Who are you actually talking to?" Daily Show host Jon Stewart asked after playing Kelly's segment, during which she addressed "all you kids watching at home."

"Children who are sophisticated enough to be watching a news channel at 10 o'clock at night, yet innocent enough to still believe Santa Claus is real, yet racist enough to be freaked out if he isn't white?" Stewart asked, drawing cheers from the audience. 

(Comedy Central)

Critics have also accused Kelly, who came out as an Independent in 2015, of adopting a double standard in her reporting.

Source: Business Insider, Variety

(The Washington Post via 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.

Things took a turn during a Republican primary debate in 2015 when Kelly became part of the news cycle itself. After she questioned then-Republican candidate Donald Trump about his behavior towards women, Trump implied Kelly had been vindictive and said she had "blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her...wherever."

(Photo by Eric Liebowitz/FOX via Getty Images)

The remark, which many perceived as sexist, drew immediate and sustained criticism from observers, while Kelly garnered support from both sides of the political spectrum.

(Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) 

It wasn't all rosy for the Fox News anchor, though. Kelly told late night host Jimmy Fallon a few months later that she could "no longer go on Twitter" because of the harassment she experienced from Trump and his fans.

Source: The Tonight Show

(Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

The incident, and Kelly's pushback against it, made her something of a cultural icon during the election. She was even a featured guest during the 2016 "Women In The World" summit hosted by Katie Couric.

Watch Kelly's interview at the summit »

(Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)

"It is bizarre, it's surreal," Kelly said of her experience with Trump and covering the campaign. She added that she didn't enjoy seeing her own name in the headlines and that she looked forward to moving on from it.

(Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Kelly again came under the spotlight later that year, when she defended former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson, who had accused Fox News CEO Roger Ailes of sexual misconduct.

(Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for TIME)

While other network powerhouses like Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly leaped to Ailes' defense, Kelly backed Carlson and even encouraged another female Fox News anchor to speak out about the alleged harassment she'd faced from Ailes.

Source: New York Magazine

REUTERS/Fred Prouser (UNITED STATES)

Kelly later wrote about her own experience with Ailes. At one point, he was "trying to grab me repeatedly and kiss me on the lips," she wrote in her book, "Settle For More."

Source: The Daily Beast

(Photo by Charles Ommanney/Getty Images)

After Carlson made her allegations against Ailes public, the network approached Kelly several times to defend the CEO, she wrote, but "there was no way I was going to lie to protect him."

Source: "Settle For More" via The Daily Beast

(Photo by Charles Ommanney/Getty Images)

Throughout the next few months, the network saw a string of high-profile departures that began with Ailes stepping down, host Greta van Susteren leaving to take a job at MSNBC, and finally, Kelly announcing her own departure to NBC.

(Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Her new, multi-year contract with the network gives Kelly several prominent roles, The New York Times reported earlier this year: she will host a daytime news and talk show, a Sunday night news program, and she will take point on covering prominent breaking stories and political events for the network.

Source: The New York Times

(Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

Kelly had already stepped into her new position prior to debuting her daytime talk show on Monday. Earlier this year, she interviewed Russian President Vladimir Putin in a segment that earned mixed reviews. Many critics felt she didn't press Putin hard enough on his record on human rights and Russia's election interference.

(Photo by Alexei Druzhinin\TASS via Getty Images)

She also interviewed Alex Jones, an alt-right icon, strong supporter of Donald Trump, and the founder of far-right website InfoWars.

Source: NBC News

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

On Monday, she told her new studio audience that she was "kind of done with politics."

(Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

However, Kelly wore a shirt that had a "pussy bow," a feature that gained traction after the infamous Access Hollywood tape, during which Trump demeaned women and said he could "grab 'em by the p---y," leaked last year. So whether she really plans to stay away from the political fray remains to be seen.

(Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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Celebs and Viewers Flip Out Over Her Comments

The backlash against Kelly's remarks was almost instantaneous.

Comedian Patton Oswalt, who is a year older than Kelly, tweeted, "Dear @megynkelly -- you and I are approximately the same age. Blackface was NOT okay when we were kids. Take it from a big-hearted boy who just wanted to show his love for Nipsey Russell on the worst Halloween of my life."

Meanwhile, TV personality and philanthropist Padma Lakshmi took it upon herself to answer Kelly's question of why blackface is considered racist: "Minstrelsy is the basis for the coining of the term 'Jim Crow' laws which served to humiliate & target Black Americans."

"Because caricaturing another race perpetuates the dehumanization of POC who are being killed & jailed at a disproportionate rate in the US," Lakshmi added.

The backlash was figuratively deafening.

Kelly Tearfully Apologizes for Offending People

Hours after the episode of Megyn Kelly Today aired, the host sent out an internal email to her fellow NBC colleagues apologizing for her remarks, and explaining that the feedback she received led to her reconsidering her position.

"One of the wonderful things about my job is that I get the chance to express and hear a lot of opinions. Today is one of those days where listening carefully to other points of view, including from friends and colleagues, is leading me to rethink my own views." Kelly said, adding that she's come to realize that "the history of blackface in our culture is abhorrent; the wounds too deep." 

"I’ve never been a 'pc' kind of person -- but I understand that we do need to be more sensitive in this day and age. Particularly on race and ethnicity issues which, far from being healed, have been exacerbated in our politics over the past year," Kelly added. "This is a time for more understanding, love, sensitivity and honor, and I want to be part of that."

On Oct. 24, the day after the ill-fated roundtable discussion, Kelly addressed the elephant in the room at the top of her show, and was brought to tears while apologizing for her poorly received comments.

"I'm Megyn Kelly and I want to begin with two words -- I'm sorry," she shared, emotionally, later adding that she "was wrong" to defend the objectively racist practice. 

"One of the great parts of sitting in this chair each day is getting to discuss different points of view," she continued. "Sometimes I talk and sometimes I listen, and yesterday, I learned. I learned that given the history of blackface being used in awful ways by racists in this country it is not OK for that to be part of any costume, Halloween or otherwise."

Kelly's Apology Can't Save Her Show 

It was announced after her apology aired on Wednesday that Kelly would not be appearing for the remainder of the week, with reruns of her show to air in the time slot. Hours later, a source with inside knowledge of the production told ET that the show had been cancelled all together.

While her blackface comments were likely the last straw when it came to her show ending, it seems that the program was unlikely to continue into 2019 either way, as it had been plagued by lower than expected ratings and behind-the-scenes strife.

"I’ve felt the show was coming to an end in December no matter what," a source told ET at the time. "It was clear that it was not working and there is a lot of dysfunction." 

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Inside the career of Megyn Kelly
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Inside the career of Megyn Kelly
LAGUNA NIGUEL, CA - OCTOBER 02: Megyn Kelly speaks onstage at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit 2018 at Ritz Carlton Hotel on October 2, 2018 in Laguna Niguel, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Fortune)
TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly, Chuck Todd, Savannah Guthrie, Lester Holt and Andrea Mitchell on Thursday, September 27, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Wednesday, August 22, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Megyn Kelly and Douglas Brunt on Wednesday June 13, 2018 -- (Photo by: Zach Pagano/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Friday, June 8, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Monday, June 4, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Megyn Kelly, Kathie Lee Gifford and Al Roker for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle on Friday May 18, 2018 in Windsor, England. -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Megyn Kelly, and Chuck Todd attend the 2018 NBCUniversal Upfront Presentation at Rockefeller Center on May 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Friday, May 11, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: Megyn Kelly seen in Columbus Circle on her way to the 2018 Time 100 Gala on April 24, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Monday, April 23, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Monday, March 26, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY TODAY -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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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According to the source, three of Kelly’s producers complained to the network execs during the summer of 2018 and demanded "to be taken off of the show because of all the chaos and bullsh**t." Additionally, the source alleged that bookers and producers regularly had a difficult time convincing guests to come on the show.

NBC announced on Oct. 26 -- just three days after the scandal began -- that Megyn Kelly Today was no more.

Fonda Shows Sympathy After Kelly's Cancellation

While Fonda and Kelly had a particularly heated feud, it seems that the Grace and Frankie actress took no delight in Kelly's misfortune. ET caught up with Fonda on Nov. 1, at the Women's Media Center Awards in New York City, and she addressed the cancellation of Kelly's show.

"I feel badly, because, you know, I wanted her to make it. I did," the 80-year-old actress admitted, adding that she still believed that this could be a learning opportunity for the embattled TV personality. "That's always how everyone learns, through making mistakes... It's through failure that we grow and learn. I know that has been true for me, and I think it is for everybody," she added.

Kelly's Future Remains Unclear, But Not Bleak

While her show has been cancelled, Kelly has not been let go from NBC entirely...yet.

According to the latest reports, Kelly and NBC are still working on negotiating a payout settlement regarding her original three-year, $69 million contract, with Kelly poised to be paid in full. Kelly is reportedly interested in getting back to work as soon as possible, and there seems to be no shortage of offers. Kelly had reportedly expressed interest in the past -- even before her show's cancellation -- to return to a position covering news and politics, as opposed to the daytime talk show format.

As 2019 approaches, it seems that Kelly likely won't be off the air in the new year for very long.

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