Somebody call her a wahmbulance.
MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry has walked off her show, citing frustrations with the network’s treatment and a loss of control over the program’s content. Harris-Perry, whose show airs on both Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to noon, is refusing to host this weekend after being sidelined for two weeks, the Daily Mail reports.
In a letter to her colleagues published on Medium, she wrote that she was deemed ‘worthless’ by the network, and fought back by saying: ‘I will not be used as a tool for their purposes. I am not a token, mammy, or little brown bobble head.‘
In a later interview with the New York Times, Ms. Harris-Perry clarified her comments and took the focus off her race. She said: ‘I don’t think anyone is doing something mean to me because I’m a black person.’ Harris-Perry wrote that her show was ‘effectively and utterly silenced’ during the presidential election, and that she refused to return this weekend as MSNBC had requested.
She said: ‘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.’
The political commentator, author, and professor at Wake Forest University also shared that she had been staying in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, but failed to receive any communication from executives about contributing to MSNBC’s coverage along the campaign trail. She wrote: ‘While MSNBC may believe that I am worthless, I know better. I will not sell short myself or this show. I am not hungry for empty airtime. I care only about substantive, meaningful and autonomous work. When we can do that, I will return- not a moment earlier.’
An NBC News spokesman issued a statement that read: ‘In this exciting and unpredictable presidential primary season, many of our daytime programs have been temporarily upended by breaking political coverage, including M.H.P. This reaction is really surprising, confusing and disappointing.’
The Melissa Harris-Perry Show, which aired in 2012, is known for its inclusion of underrepresented commentators in addressing issues like social justice and diversity. Harris-Perry said if MSNBC wanted to cancel the show, she would prefer that they do it outright rather than fading it out. It is unclear whether the show is being canceled, but it has been noted that Harris-Perry has removed the show from her Twitter bio.
It was also reported in April that the 42-year-old and her husband, James Perry, owed about $70,000 after the IRS filed a tax lien. Harris Perry told the Winston-Salem Journal that she and her husband had paid more than $21,000 of the debt back, and that ‘personal crises’ had slowed them down. She wrote: ‘We were aware that we would continue to need to work to pay off the 2013 debt.’