MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry walked off the set of her show in protest that her views have been silenced by cable executives. Tension between the weekend talk show host and execs have been brewing for weeks. For two weeks her show was preempted so MSNBC could focus on “different” news, primarily for presidential primary coverage.
Harris-Perry said she felt “worthless” to NBC News executives, in an email to her staff that went public on Feb. 26:
“Our show was taken – without comment or discussion or notice – in the midst of an election season. … [MSNBC] would like me to appear for four inconsequential hours to read news that they deem relevant. I will not be used as a tool for their purposes. I am not a token, mammy, or little brown bobble head. White MSNBC may believe that I am worthless, but I know better. I know who I am. I know my MHP Show is unique and valuable. I will not sell short myself or this show.”
After the email went public, an MSNBC spokesman on Sunday confirmed that the network and Ms. Harris-Perry were “parting ways.”
“Farewell #Nerdland,” she tweeted, “Inviting diverse new voices to table was a privilege. Grateful for years of support & criticism.”
She had hosted the “Melissa Harris-Perry” show better known on social media as “Nerdland” since 2012. The focus was on the state of race, gender and social justice in America.
MSNBC responded to Harris-Perry’s announcements by calling them “really surprising, confusing and disappointing.”
— Melissa Harris-Perry (@MHarrisPerry) February 28, 2016
— Melissa Harris-Perry (@MHarrisPerry) February 29, 2016