Melissa Harris-Perry will no longer host her MSNBC weekend morning show, an MSNBC spokesperson confirmed to EBONY.com on Sunday. Perry has been in the host’s chair the network for four years but walked off on Friday due to frustrations with network executives over pre-empting of the program for 2016 election coverage.
She tweeted a farewell to fans of the show Sunday morning, thanking them for watching.
— Melissa Harris-Perry (@MHarrisPerry) February 28, 2016
On Friday, Medium.com published a letter Harris-Perry e-mailed to the show’s staff explaining her side and why she refused to appear on the show this weekend. “After four years of building an audience, developing a brand and developing trust with our viewers, we were effectively and utterly silenced,” the e-mail said. “Now, MSNBC would like me to appear for four inconsequential hours to read news that they deem relevant without returning to our team any of the editorial control and authority that makes MHP Show distinctive.
“I will not be used as a tool for their purposes,” the e-mail continued. “I am not a token, mammy, or little brown bobble head.”
NBC officials sent EBONY.com a statement on Friday saying they found Harris-Perry’s decision to not appear on the show “surprising,” and “confusing,” and explaining that “many of our daytime programs have been temporarily upended by breaking political coverage, including MHP.”
Harris-Perry told CNNMoney.com that an exit deal is being worked on between her representatives and MSNBC. Her contract expires in October, the website reported.
“All negotiations are occurring with third parties,” Harris-Perry said in a statement to CNNMoney on Sunday morning. “I am not personally in direct communication with anyone employed with MSNBC.”
She added, “The goal of the negotiation at this point is to determine the terms of severance, not reconciliation.”