MSNBC weekend host Melissa Harris-Perry has reportedly walked off of her show, refusing to take the host’s chair, citing frustration with network officials, according to published reports.
In an e-mail sent to staffers at her show, she said she felt “worthless” to executives at NBC. She made clear that she would not be on the show on Saturday or Sunday, during which it runs from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST.
“Here is the reality: Our show was taken — without comment or discussion or notice — in the midst of an election season,” she wrote in the e-mail, which was published in its entirety on Medium.com. “After four years of building an audience, developing a brand and developing trust with our viewers, we were effectively and utterly silenced. 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.”
It is unclear if the show has been canceled, but she said that it has been weeks since she’s appeared on the network and has not had much participation in election coverage in South Carolina and New Hampshire.
“I will not be used as a tool for their purposes,” she said in the e-mail. “I am not a token, mammy, or little brown bobble head. I am not owned by Lack, Griffin or MSNBC. I love our show. I want it back.”
An MSNBC spokesman sent a statement to EBONY.com responding to the situation.
“In this exciting and unpredictable presidential primary season, many of our daytime programs have been temporarily upended by breaking political coverage, including MHP. This reaction is really surprising, confusing and disappointing,” the statement said.
Officials at the network also said daytime host Joy Reid is hosting in Harris-Perry’s place from South Carolina during coverage of the Democratic primary.
But Harris-Perry maintains she has been “shut out” from election coverage without any explanation from the network.
“While MSNBC may believe that I am worthless, I know better. I know who I am. I know why MHP Show is unique and valuable. I will not sell short myself or this show. I am not hungry for empty airtime. I care only about substantive, meaningful, and autonomous work. When we can do that, I will return — not a moment earlier.”