“Given the circumstances, Megyn Kelly Today will be on tape the rest of the week,” an NBC spokesperson confirms to PEOPLE.
The former Fox News host drew ire Tuesday morning when she questioned whether wearing blackface as part of a Halloween costume is actually racist during a segment on her show. She and an all-white panel were discussing campus attempts to discourage “inappropriate and offensive costumes” when Kelly asked: “But what is racist? Because truly, you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface at Halloween or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was okay as long as you were dressing up as like a character.”
The outcry on social media was swift, and even Kelly’s NBC colleagues condemned her harshly on-air. Craig Melvin called her remarks “indefensible” as well as “ignorant and racist,” and Al Roker insisted she “owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country.”
Kelly, 47, has apologized twice — first in an internal email to colleagues and then on-air — but the backlash continues to heighten, and questions about her future at the network loom, especially with the morning show just days away from its annual Halloween special.
On Wednesday, a source told PEOPLE Kelly’s departure from Today is expected by the end of the season in December.
“We began discussions earlier this month about a different role within NBC News because Megyn wants to be involved in political coverage in a deeper way than she can do at 9 a.m,” said the source. “Megyn indicated before this brouhaha that she wanted to move on before the end of the year in order to be involved in the presidential campaign coverage.”
A separate source told PEOPLE many at the Today show are displeased with Kelly amid the blackface drama and are questioning her future at the network: “People at the Today show are not happy with Megyn right now,” said the source, adding that “nobody knows what is going to happen with her now” in regard to her position.
Kelly and her agency CAA have also parted ways, the talent agency confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. A source told PEOPLE that Kelly fired CAA because of conflicts of interest they had with NBC. The source also said she had been offered representation from UTA but then backed out.