The former FOX News host got off to a cringeworthy start in her new gig at NBC, offending at least two of her high profile guests in as many days. The ratings haven’t been incredible either, though they’re not downright disastrous just yet. On two of its first three days, it came in behind “Live with Kelly and Ryan.” It’s also been losing viewers on a daily basis.
Let’s break down all the screw-ups and criticism Kelly faced during Week One.
First There Was the ‘Will & Grace’ Debacle
For the show’s premiere episode, the cast and creators of the NBC show appeared for a Q&A with the host that many on Twitter described as “awkward.” Kelly caught the most backlash after bringing a superfan on stage to mingle with his idols. “Is it true that you became a lawyer — and you became gay — because of Will?” Kelly asked him. After awarding the guest a trip to Los Angeles and tickets to attend a taping of his favorite show, she added, “I think the ‘Will & Grace’ thing and the gay thing is going to work out great!”
Debra Messing spoke out about Kelly following the interview, responding to a fan on Instagram who asked, “Why did you guys do the Megyn Kelly show? That’s a fail!”
“Honestly I didn’t know it was MK until that morning,” Messing replied. “The itinerary just said Today Show appearance. Regret going on. Dismayed by her comments.”
“She was obviously making a joke, that was clear to the ‘superfan’ – who was ecstatic – and the audience,” an insider close to production told TooFab.
Then Came Meme-Worthy Awkward Moment With Jane Fonda
On Wednesday’s show, she asked the 79-year-old Oscar-winning actress to detail what cosmetic surgery procedures she’s had done over the years, and the “Grace & Frankie” star was not having it. “We really want to talk about that now?” Jane Fonda told Kelly. “But let me tell you why I love this movie that we did, ‘Our Souls at Night,’ rather than plastic surgery.”
Both Fonda and Robert Redford — who was a guest alongside Jane — later addressed the uncomfortable moment speaking with ET Canada. “Given the fact that we don’t have a lot of time and Bob is right here, it’s a weird thing to bring up — whether I’ve had plastic surgery or not. I have and I’ve talked about it,” Fonda said. “Seemed like the wrong time and place to ask that question.”
“I think Jane didn’t want to go there. I think she didn’t want to have the show turn into about her, her surgery or her look,” added Redford. “It was about the quality of the performance.”
Fortunately for Kelly, at least fellow TV personalities Savannah Guthrie and Andy Cohen decided to defend her on “Watch What Happens Live” Thursday night.
“I would have asked that question, I have asked that question,” Cohen said.
Guthrie agreed and added, “Sometimes you ask questions in an interview and, live TV there’s awkward moments all the time. That’s live TV.”
Backlash Over Interview With Convicted Murderer
In another interview on Wednesday’s show, Kelly interviewed convicted murderer Lyle Menendez, which also caught some backlash online.
Former Beverly Hills police detective Les Zoeller, who was the lead detective on the Menendez case back in the day, criticized Kelly’s “softball questions” in an interview with The Daily Beast.
“I thought the whole thing was self-serving to Lyle, with questions like, ‘When was the last time you saw your brother Erik?’ and ‘You’re married now — how does that work out?'” Zoeller said.
Megyn Kelly’s camera man stepped into the frame and then said “shit.” pic.twitter.com/zh5vaFPQGl
— Kate Aurthur (@KateAurthur) September 28, 2017
On Thursday, there was a much less offensive gaffe when a cameraman walked into the shot and said “Shit!” live on air.
At the close of Friday’s episode, Kelly took a swipe at the media while referencing the headlines her show has generated all week long.
“I just want to take a moment to thank all of you so much for watching this week, it has been very exciting, educational. I’ve just been so delighted at the media response which has really … no [shaking her head negatively] … but the viewer response has been awesome and I am so grateful to have all of you giving us a chance,” she said.
How do you think she did? Sound off in the comments below.
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