MSNBC’s Harris-Perry Says She Won’t Appear On Her Show After Pre-Emptions

Melissa Harris-Perry attends the 2014 Essence Music Festival Concert - Day 2 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on Friday, July 04, 2014, in New Orleans LA. (Photo by Donald Traill/Invision/AP)
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Frustrated with what she described as a lack of editorial control, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry told the New York Times on Friday that she will not appear on her show this weekend.

“Our show was taken—without comment or discussion or notice—in the midst of an election season,” Harris-Perry wrote in an email to colleagues that was obtained by the Times. “After four years of building an audience, developing a brand and developing trust with our viewers, we were effectively and utterly silenced.”

The MSNBC host expressed frustration at having her regular time slot—10 a.m. to noon on Saturday and Sunday—taken over for coverage of the 2016 presidential primary. Though Harris-Perry told the Times she did not know if her show had been canceled, she said she felt “betrayed” by network executives.

An NBC News spokesman told the Times that Harris-Perry’s reaction has been “surprising, confusing and disappointing” to the network.

“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.” the spokesman told the Times in a statement.

As of Friday afternoon, Harris-Perry’s Twitter bio identified her as a professor at Wake Forest University and listed her titles at several non-profit advocacy groups. But as Politico media reporter Hadas Gold pointed out, a reference to Harris-Perry’s MSNBC show had been removed from that bio.

Jamil Smith, a former producer on the show, released Harris-Perry’s

full email to her staff on Medium on Friday afternoon with her permission.

This post has been updated.

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