Report: NBC Shocked by How Far Megyn Kelly Went With Attack on Jane Fonda

Megyn Kelly / Getty

Megyn Kelly got approval from NBC higher-ups before attacking actress Jane Fonda on her show Monday, but top network officials were shocked by how far the TV host went, according to a new report.

NBC insiders told Page Six that the network fears it will be harder for Kelly to book other celebrity guests on her morning show in case they receive similar treatment.

"The problem is that nobody at NBC is controlling Megyn," one source said. "They paid her more than $20 million to host the 9 a.m. show, and she's been given too much power. But the fact remains: You can't say those things, or be so aggressive, on morning TV.

"Plus, Megyn was already having trouble booking celebrities—so how is she ever going to book other stars if they disagree and she goes on air later and trashes them?" the insider added.

A number of celebrity publicists have previously said they are hesitant to book clients on Kelly's show.

Kelly castigated Fonda on air after the actress last week blasted Kelly as a bad interviewer and referenced their awkward encounter from September, when the NBC host asked Fonda in an interview whether her plastic surgery has helped her "age beautifully and with strength."

"Honestly, she has no business lecturing anyone on what qualifies as offensive," Kelly said of Fonda on Monday, referencing the latter's infamous behavior during the Vietnam War.

Fonda visited North Vietnam in 1972 and was photographed with North Vietnamese troops on an antiaircraft gun that would have been used to shoot down American planes, helping earn her the nickname "Hanoi Jane" when she returned to the U.S.

Kelly received blowback for her attack, including on ABC's "The View." On Tuesday's show, co-host Joy Behar, said, "To drag the Vietnam War into a plastic-surgery conversation is a real stretch, Megyn. OK?" She also suggested that Fonda ask Kelly: "And how much work have you had, bitch?"