MSNBC has severed ties with left-wing host Melissa Harris-Perry after her public fight with the network over her show being pre-empted by election coverage, according to multiple reports.
MSNBC decided to let her go after a critical email to her colleagues saying, “Our show was taken – without comment or discussion or notice – in the midst of an election season.” Harris-Perry announced earlier in the week that she wouldn’t appear on her program Saturday morning, saying she felt “worthless” to the network.
Harris-Perry, whose show aired Saturday and Sunday mornings and often focused on racial politics and culture, implied race was an issue in MSNBC’s treatment of her, saying she was not a “brown bobble head.”
The Washington Post reported that this choice was made because the network has been coming in behind Fox and CNN, so they changed to cover more campaign news to boost ratings and viewership. Due to the spontaneous and chaotic nature of campaign season, this meant that her show was bumped multiple times.
MSNBC and its rivals are all trying to squeeze higher ratings out of the chaotic primary season. The channel pre-empted her for campaign coverage with a “Place for Politics” title.
The same thing has happened to other shows, too, MSNBC said in a statement responding to her letter on Friday. The channel called her reaction “surprising, confusing and disappointing.”
But Harris-Perry said the February pre-emptions were merely the most visible manifestation of the channel’s marginalization of her show.
In the letter, she said “no one on the third floor,” where MSNBC’s executives work at 30 Rockefeller Center, “has even returned an email, called me, or initiated or responded to any communication of any kind from me for nearly a month.”
Melissa Harris-Perry tweeted a goodbye to her show on Sunday morning.
— Melissa Harris-Perry (@MHarrisPerry) February 28, 2016
Harris-Perry’s show has provided many bizarre moments over the years, from criticizing the term “hard work” as demeaning to slaves to mocking Mitt Romney’s black grandchild to saying the character of Darth Vader is racist.