Melissa Harris-Perry Walks Away From MSNBC Show

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Courtesy of msnbc

Melissa Harris-Perry may be too progressive for the new MSNBC.

The anchor, who has hosted a weekend program on the NBCUniversal-owned cable-news outlet since 2012, said she will not host her show this weekend in what appears to be a significant difference of opinion regarding her role at the network, which has in recent months focused more intently on breaking-news coverage and politics.

“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 a note that was reported previously by the New York Times, then posted on Medium. “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.”

Since last year MSNBC has steadily reoriented its daytime programming, canceling shows led by Ed Schultz, Ronan Farrow and Joy Reid that examined the issues of the day through a progressive lens. A late-afternoon program hosted by the Reverend Al Sharpton was canceled and turned into a Sunday-morning show. As the nation’s focus on the Presidential election has intensified, so too has MSNBC’s coverage of it during prime time.

In her note, the anchor disagreed with what the new direction had done to her program, as well as a spate of preemptions of the show spurred by political coverage. “I love our show. I want it back,” she said, but only with its original themes.

The network expressed displeasure at her decision — and her speaking out about it. “In this exciting and unpredictable presidential primary season, many of our daytime programs have been temporarily upended by breaking political coverage, including MHP,” MSNBC said in a statement. “This reaction is really surprising, confusing and disappointing.”

One prominent MSNBC anchor could be disappointed in the development. Harris-Perry has been a regular substitute for Rachel Maddow, the linchpin of the network’s primetime lineup. Harris-Perry has in the past credited appearances on the Maddow program as a chief factor in helping her get contributor and anchor roles at MSNBC.

Joy Reid is expected to host MSNBC coverage this weekend during Harris-Perry’s slot, anchoring from South Carolina for a look at the Democratic primary.


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  1. Bill Wozniak says:

    miss perry……….the uppidity black person she is………… what she deserved…….

  2. Fritz says:

    I agree with MHP – there has been way too much coverage of the campaigns, rallies, etc., giving candidates like Trump too much (disproportionate!) free air time!!

  3. Doug McKinnon says:

    Seems to me they’re just firing/cancelling anyone who doesn’t fit/agree with their own narrow political views.

  4. Elja says:

    Pushing the race card for ratings or to cry wolf should be seen as unacceptable behavior, even for a minority anchor. I too belong to a minority and I used to watch Melissa’s show, bit I stopped because it became too polarizing and divisive. Not everything is, or should be, about race. Sorry Melissa.

    • Robert says:

      I agree with Elja. I too am an ethinic minority I think she was over the top polarizing and seemed even a little racist,

  5. lionel hampton says:

    msnbc ,it must be fox now so long .

  6. Larry says:

    When I scan the news channels and I saw her as the anchor person I would stop and watch her, she is one of the most informed anchor woman reporting interesting news and insight. I trusted her reporting and insight, I could wrap my head around. Best wishes goes with her and I hope she comes back.

  7. Larry says:

    When I scan the news channels and I saw her a anchor person I would stop and watch her, she is one of the most informed anchor woman reporting interesting news. I trusted her insight.

  8. Badbob says:

    This is so racist MSNBC must be love full rap blacklight matter in regard to this shameful and unnecessary and just plain mean thing to do to such a wonderfully crazy person

  9. Gladys says:

    This station has been losing lots of viewers including me and my family. The many changes that have been done have not been beneficial for the ratings of this station. We always looked to MSNBC for all the segments that you had. You cancelled the majority of them, and now Melissa Harris-Perry. We are done.CNN here we come.

  10. MSNBC is going in a bad direction with just politics, I also miss my Sunday morning line-up, Ed, Rev. Al, and now Melissa. Too much Trump, watching more PBS news shows to find out what is happening in the world…very sad demise of MSNBC news!

  11. Zonk says:

    With regard to (wrt) Melissa Perry….It only make sense to dump her, she is a Prima Donna, thinks she is more than she is…

    Unfortunately she is a bobble head. She was only put there to get racist blacks to watch.

    She is a loose cannon with no real logic and no sense.

    She was a racist who believed we owed her something, going on rants with no facts…kind of the balck Charlie Sheen

  12. Anononono says:

    What is it with some (not all) of the comments about an article in Variety, an industry publication? Several are racist, reactionary, insulting and lack basic grammar. Moving on, there is something chaotic about the programming/programming decisions at MSNBC in recent months. As with the MPH show, several of the cancelled shows/commentators had brands, active and loyal audiences, etc. Now, apart from cancellations, viewers tune in and often don’t know from day to day or even hour to hour who will be reporting. Would love to see a serious long-form analysis of what is happening at the Net.

  13. Johnny Dole says:

    MSNBC might finally be realizing that their constant race-baiting and hate-driven programming is offensive — people don’t want to watch such divisive vitriol, as evidenced by their plummeting viewership in recent years. At any given moment this “news” organization is either smugly bashing republicans, blaming racism for… everything, or attacking those who have succeeded in life (you know, people who’ve achieved the American dream – or, as MSNBC would have us believe, life’s “lottery winners” who were undeservedly bestowed with big bags of free cash).

    The fact that MSNBC took Al Sharpton seriously and gave him a show demonstrates how far askew from reality this organization had become. That’s when I stopped watching. Melissa Harris-Perry found racism in virtually everything… if it rained it was caused by white people treating black people unfairly. And Alex Wagner’s resignation came with an admission that she had been “spreading lies on behalf of Obama” on air. MSNBC had an opportunity to do some good for society, but they just couldn’t keep things reasonable. Now they are paying the price – their potential demise.

    Removing Perry, Sharpton and Wagner is a start. But MSNBC will have to do more if it wants to survive. Watching anchors like Maddow and Matthews spew their hatred of republicans is painful to watch – even for staunch democrats. Nobody likes such overt hatred and arrogant opinion. We want NEWS and balanced debate. Until then, we simply won’t watch.

  14. John Emery says:

    Their is still an audience seeking multiple perspectives rather than sound bites and entertainment. MHP, Hayes, Maddow provided that. Even Scarborough’s narcissistic ranting’s helped provide some balance. The election is not much more than polarizing rhetoric filled with misrepresentation and out right lies. No wonder Americans are so angry and misinformed. PBS, fact check and searching through news aggregators is becoming the only way to be informed and unfortunately many Americans are unwilling to take the time it takes. Television continues to dumb down their viewers.

  15. Melissa Harris-Perry, I will sure miss you! God has your back!

  16. Jennifer O'Neil says:

    I will miss MHP. I have been very disappointed in the coverage recently, especially waking up to Joe on the weekends. I’ve moved back to print in a big way – MSNBC isn’t what it used to be. Only a few people left worth tuning in for.

  17. Sam America says:

    Even NBC the Obama progressive socialist pushing network can’t take no more of this lying racist.
    she should keep walking out of America. watch and see if she doesn’t sue them or wind up on CNN.
    she’s just another one of those leftist nutjobs on that fake news channel that doesn’t get any ratings.

  18. Will says:

    Certainly gonna miss those dangling tampon ‘earrings’, and her rendition of Daffy Duck delivering the news!

  19. Anyone who thinks Star Wars is racist , has to be a complete moron

  20. Karen says:

    She is a narcissist. Also rude

  21. Tee Rams says:

    Tisk, Tisk, Mr.Steinberg,
    Why be less than honest by omitting most of MHP’s comment. Rather cowardly form of ‘journalism’, No ???
    “I will not be used as a tool for their purposes,” she wrote. “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.” Melissa Harris Perry (source: NY Times)…

    • I don’t know that there’s anything dishonest about being selective about which parts of Ms. Perry’s statement to put in an article. In the NYT article, she specifically says the dispute with the network is not about race. Indeed, it’s pretty clear the rift is over the type of show she wants to present and host. I chose not to put that quote in the story so as not to imply something to the reader that both sides seems to agree was not in play

      • Jeff says:

        Dern Brian…you done licking those wounds from Tee, yet?… should have stuck to the Kardashians…

      • Tee Rams says:

        Fact is, sir,
        You “selectively” chose to omit the racially charged rhetoric that MHP is so well known for and the ONLY reason YOU “selectively” chose not to include it, is that YOU saw it for exactly what it was.
        What’s more is you still included “This reaction is really surprising, confusing and disappointing”, MSNBC’s reaction to MHP’s entire comments, leading one to believe their comment to be somewhat excessive…..
        _ Nice try Brian, you may be a great magician for kids’ parties, but, You Can’t Fool The Grown-Ups………

  22. captain says:

    I will miss MHP, but not for the same reasons as her two dozen loyal viewers. Laughing at her Star Wars is racist rant, or how she takes offence at the phase “hard work” when describing anyone other than slaves….and how about the shameful cheerleading Ms. Perry made while discussing a Christmas photo of Mitt Romney’s family, which included an adopted black baby. I give MSNBC management credit for realizing that “Black viewers don’t matter, All viewers matter

  23. wjm980 says:

    You had your chance, honey….and you and your network tanked. Be grateful they didn’t fire your ass.

  24. Cath says:

    MSNBC used to be watchable. Last weekend instead of normal morning programming we got Scarborough. Ick. I used to look forward to the original Chris Hayes show and Melissa’s show. I even watched Kornacki’s show. I would even get up at 7 a.m. to watch. Then the network changed dramatically. I’m not sure for whom they are programming but they lost me.

    • wjm980 says:

      Nobody watched the liberal diarrhea expelled by MSNBC, so they wisely toned it down. They clearly couldn’t care less if you and your ilk watch it.

      • Bob says:

        I wonder what you’ll be watching now since you know so much about diarrhea?
        Get out of the restroom and get some fresh air!

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