As one may have surmised by the email heard round the (black) world Friday, MSNBC will sever ties with Melissa Harris-Perry, effectively canceling her show, according to a Washington Post report and confirmed by Richard Prince’s Journal-isms this weekend.
Harris-Perry sent out the scathing email to her staff last week, and it was made public by a former producer on Friday. In it, MHP explained why she refused to go on air this weekend, saying she would not be a “token, mammy or brown bobble head” for the network, which has pre-empted her show for two weekends in a row.
“Here is the reality: Our show was taken—without comment or discussion or notice—in the midst of an election season,” Harris Perry wrote in the internal email. “After four years of building an audience, developing a brand and developing trust with our viewers, we were effectively and utterly silenced.”
“I will not be used as a tool,” Harris-Perry continued. She also wrote that she is “not owned” by NBC and MSNBC executives.
The Post reports that an anonymous executive at the network deemed the email “destructive” and that “It’s highly unlikely Harris-Perry will continue” at MSNBC.
Harris Perry appears to have been swept up in a strategic transformation of the network, one that many say is taking the left-leaning network more centrist, and has seen the demise of many of its program hosts of color including the cancellation of The Reid Report, hosted by Joy-Ann Reid, last year, as well as moving the Rev. Al Sharpton’s once-daily show to weekends.
Lagging in ratings behind Fox and CNN, MSNBC’s strategy has apparently been trying to emphasize breaking-news coverage during daytime hours while maintaining a slate of liberal hosts such as Rachel Maddow during prime-time hours at night.
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