Megyn Kelly may not be popular, but a new poll shows that NBC’s decision to fire her is also unpopular.

Despite only working one year of her $69 million three-year contract, Kelly is out at NBC after she gave an ill-advised defense of blackface Halloween costumes. She said that they were commonplace and acceptable back in her day, so long as you were dressing up as a specific character.

Kelly’s tone and apology play a role

Just by the tone of Kelly’s initial comment, it’s obvious that she wasn’t intending to justify actual racism. She quickly apologized the following day on her show after facing backlash. Still that wasn’t enough, and the network let her go. (Though as we’ve speculated, the real reason behind her firing is probably her poor ratings, and NBC was waiting for a catalyst to publicly justify firing her).

According to the Hollywood Reporter:

  • Only 21 percent have a favorable view of the former Fox News star. The same amount of people have a “very unfavorable” view of her.
  • Kelly is viewed far less charitably than her current (but soon-to-be former) employer, NBC, which more than half (56 percent) have either a somewhat or very favorably view of.
  • Despite her unpopularity, most disagreed with her termination. Only 26% agreed with the decision, while 45% viewed it as “too harsh.” 
  • The poll was conducted on Oct. 25 and Oct. 26, two and three days after her comments and in the middle of the backlash that stemmed from them. In other words, even with everyone’s emotionally irrationally flared up, most still disagreed with NBC’s decision.

Was firing Megyn Kelly the right thing to do?

It’s refreshing that most people can both view Kelly unfavorably, but recognize an unjust termination. Ironically, it appears (at least from what I’ve seen online) that it’s mostly conservatives (the pro-Trump variety, who are no fans of Kelly) coming to her defense. But of course, there are some liberals coming to her side, too.

The Young Turks’ Cenk Uyger (who single-handedly disproves the cliche “a broken clock is right twice a day”) was right once this century:

As I already mentioned however, the real reason Kelly was fired was probably due to ratings. Why else fire someone and pay them so much, if they weren’t a liability? Everyone would’ve forgotten about this “controversy” within a week if Kelly wasn’t fired. Megyn Kelly started out on NBC with a Sunday show, that was canceled after only eight episodes. The attempt at finding a new role for her at the network hasn’t worked, with Kelly’s hour of the “Today” show garnering ratings nearly 30% lower than the person she replaced.