On Friday, talk show host Melissa-Harris Perry walked off the set of her show, explaining her reasons in an email to staff that was later published on Medium. Though her show has not been officially cancelled, today Brian Stelter at CNN reported that sources at MSNBC told him it was “highly unlikely” Harris-Perry would be coming back an air at the network. (Update: The parting of ways has now been confirmed by MSNBC.)
Harris-Perry has hosted her show since 2012. In her email, she addressed her frustrations with airtime (the show has been preempted the last two weekends) and editorial control, writing, “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.”
Per Stelter’s report, the final straw may have been an argument with the network over covering Beyoncé’s “Formation” on her show the day after it dropped, as opposed to just covering primary politics. The report also alleges that this was a long-brewing break between the show and the network. MSNBC declined to comment on Stelter’s report. The network has been slowly remaking its programming, focusing on breaking news and less on the kind of talk-show analysis seen on Harris-Perry’s program.
UPDATE: It’s confirmed. A spokesman for MSNBC told the New York Times on Sunday that the network and Harris-Perry were “parting ways.” Harris-Perry also sent out this tweet on Sunday morning: