Tags: melissa harris perry | nbc | token

Melissa Harris-Perry to NBC on Her Way Out: 'I Am Not a Token'

Image: Melissa Harris-Perry to NBC on Her Way Out: 'I Am Not a Token'

By    |   Tuesday, 01 Mar 2016 07:12 AM

Melissa Harris-Perry refused to return to her MSNBC show this weekend after some recent episodes had been preempted by election coverage, and now she and the network are parting ways.

"I will not be used as a tool for their purposes," Harris-Perry wrote in an email to colleagues, The New York Times reported. "I am not a token, mammy or little brown bobble head." 

She said she felt "worthless" in the eyes of NBC executives, who have been restructuring MSNBC in recent months due to poor ratings.

"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 email, which became public on Friday. "After four years of building an audience, developing a brand and developing trust with our viewers, we were effectively and utterly silenced."

Harris-Perry made it clear that she had been upset for some time because "The Melissa Harris-Perry Show," which normally airs between 10 a.m. and noon on Saturdays and Sundays, had been preempted by election coverage several times in recent weeks. In one instance, the host wanted to discuss Beyoncé’s new video, "Formation," and Super Bowl halftime performance, but she was encouraged to focus the discussion on how it might impact the election.

"I care only about substantive, meaningful and autonomous work," she explained in her email. "When we can do that, I will return — not a moment earlier."

Instead of returning, however, it has been confirmed that Harris-Perry and the network will sever their ties.

"In this exciting and unpredictable presidential primary season, many of our daytime programs have been temporarily upended by breaking political coverage, including M.H.P. This reaction is really surprising, confusing and disappointing," said an NBC News spokesman.

In a subsequent report on Sunday, The New York Times confirmed that the network is "parting ways" with Harris-Perry. 

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Melissa Harris-Perry refused to return to her MSNBC show this weekend after some recent episodes had been preempted by election coverage, and now she and the network are parting ways.
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2016-12-01
Tuesday, 01 Mar 2016 07:12 AM
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