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Melissa Harris-Perry Told Moguldom Producer She Had To “Fight” To Discuss Beyoncé Video

A full week before firing off a missive to her staff explaining her decision not to appear on her MSNBC show, Melissa Harris-Perry confirmed that major politics were at play when she made the call to devote 12 minutes of the program to Beyoncé’s new “Formation” video.

During an interview with a Moguldom (parent company for and producer at a February 10th event hosted by ImageNation and 103.9 FM Harris-Perry revealed that it was a fight just to devote 12 minutes of her program to the latest Beyoncé video, but that she’d initially hoped to spend the whole show on the controversial clip.

“I wanted to do the whole hour on Beyoncé,” Harris-Perry told our interviewer. “The producers only granted me up to 15 minutes.”

Watch a short portion of that programming below:


A source offered CNN similar information, revealing that executives at MSNBC wanted her to just cover presidential politics that day.

“Her executive producer had to fight for it,” according to a source who recounted the skirmish.

Back on February 7, she covered the Beyoncé video in-depth and said “I will see you next Saturday.” But she was bumped on February 13/14 and again February 20/21.

Now she is on strike, refusing to host until she can return to the “substantive, meaningful, and autonomous work” she used to do on MSNBC.

She said her name was put on the schedule for February 27/28, but “the purpose of this decision seems to be to provide cover for MSNBC, not to provide voice for MHP Show.”

This is such a mess. And it doesn’t seem like there is any sign of a resolution ahead.

Sources for CNN seem to believe Harris-Perry’s letter is forcing MSNBC to put an end to their relationship:

Her MSNBC contract expires in October. Two sources agreed it is “highly unlikely” she will ever be back on the show.

Harris-Perry said she is not trying to direct any activism.

“I am so moved by, and humbled by, the response of not just my audience but people who weren’t even my audience. It’s very powerful and meaningful,” she said. “But I’m also not looking to put myself at the center of some sort of civil rights narrative. I just wanted to be able to speak. I wanted to tell people what was going on.”

Now that Harris-Perry’s letter has publicly shamed the channel, some TV observers believe chairman Andy Lack and president Phil Griffin will dismiss her for insubordination.

“That statement sounded like a door-closer to me,” a former MSNBC executive producer said.

We’re hopeful that there is something better out there for Harris-Perry. We definitely believe in the saying that when one door closes another one opens. Let’s just hope it’s an even better outlet, because we NEED MHP on TV. Who else is going to give us thorough analysis of the politics of Beyoncé?



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