Megyn Kelly’s feud with Jane Fonda could make it harder to book guests for her morning show, a new report has claimed.
Multiple talent representatives told the Hollywood Reporter for a report on Wednesday that Kelly’s remarks ripping into Fonda earlier this week are making stars nervous about appearing on the show.
‘Actors don’t trust her,’ one rep told the publication.
Director Judd Apatow is scheduled to appear on Megyn Kelly Today on Friday morning, along with folk rock band The Avett Brothers and double-leg amputee dancer Eric Graise.
Earlier this week, Kelly shocked NBC executives with her vicious attack on Fonda.
On the attack: Kelly (above on the live Monday episode) tore into Jane Fonda for repeatedly criticizing her over a plastic surgery question she asked the actress, 80, back in September
Oh no she did not: Fonda (above in September after being asked about her plastic surgery by Megyn Kelly) recently spoke about the question in an interview with Variety and on Today
Grudge match: Kelly failed to mention that she herself had run multiple segments on her Fox News show The Kelly File which were highly critical on Fonda (pair above in controversial September clash)
A source told Page Six that the TV host had got approval before going after the actress who’d criticized Kelly for bringing up plastic surgery in a previous interview.
But no-one expected the extent of the tirade, as Kelly announced she was bringing an end to Fonda’s ‘poor me’ routine, and even brought up the 80-year-old star’s controversial opposition to the Vietnam war.
NBC staffers were said to be stunned by the hit piece.
‘The problem is that nobody at NBC is controlling Megyn,’ a source told Page Six. ‘They paid her more than $20 million to host the 9am show, and she’s been given too much power.
‘But the fact remains: You can’t say those things, or be so aggressive, on morning TV.’
Executives fear that Kelly’s blistering attack on ‘Hanoi Jane’ could scare off other potential celebrity guests – at a time when the former Fox host was struggling for A-list guests.
‘Megyn was already having trouble booking celebrities — so how is she ever going to book other stars if they disagree and she later goes on air later and trashes them?’ the insider said.
Variety reported in October that publicists had no desire for their clients to appear on Megyn Kelly Today which had a bumpy start with bungled interviews and poor early ratings.
A ‘high-powered publicist’ told the magazine: ‘I am just not sure what type of celeb interviewer she is.’ Another described her and the show as ‘awkward.’
Megyn Kelly, seen leaving NBC Studios Wednesday, stunned NBC staffers with her hit piece
Even the celebrities she’s already had on are not in any rush to return.
Aside from the beef with Fonda, who has repeatedly taken the host to task for asking about her plastic surgery in September, Will & Grace star Debra Messing has said that regrets her appearance on the show.
She tweeted she was ‘dismayed’ after Kelly, who was interviewing a Will & Grace superfan, asked: ‘Is it true that you became a lawyer -and you became gay – because of Will?’ Kelly’s attempts at humor swiftly came under fire from gay activists.
Messing also weighed in on Kelly’s Fonda comments, tweeting that they were ‘disgusting’ and ‘shameful.’
The ladies of The View also eviscerated Kelly, with host Ann Curry said that she was shocked by the attack.
‘We’re witnessing what we saw yesterday, a certain amount of meanness that I think is – meanness which we should not tolerate,’ said Curry on Tuesday.
Joy Behar was a bit more blunt, saying that Fonda’s response to Kelly’s comment should have been: ‘How much work have you had b****?’
Megyn Kelly was spotted indulging in a little retail shopping hours after she was trashed by the ladies of The View – as NBC ran a pre-taped episode of her show
Kelly was later seen gazing up at a menu board at an ice cream shop in New York City on Tuesday
And Whoopi Goldberg than tried to put everything in perspective by saying: ‘If I can forgive you for telling all my friends’ black children that Santa is only white, you can step back. Because you made a mistake. You made a mistake. We all make mistakes. You gotta lighten up, babe.’
Kelly took the day off following the controversial piece on Fonda as NBC chose to run a taped episode of Kelly’s hour of Today.
It was all planned though, according to a network source who said that it would have been hard to book an audience given the focus of the show on Tuesday – sex trafficking.
‘It’s a sensitive topic best handled on tape,’ added the source, who noted that the decision was made to tape the episode last week.
A representative for the show did not respond to requests for comment.
It has been four months since Megyn Kelly earned the wrath and ire of Jane Fonda for asking the 80-year-old actress about her plastic surgery.
That moment occurred during Kelly’s third episode on September 27 when she asked the Oscar-winner about what work she had done in the past.
It prompted a steely Fonda to stare Kelly down and ask: ‘We really want to talk about that now?’
Coming for Kelly: Ann Curry said the move was petty and called Kelly ‘mean,’ while Joy Behar said Fonda should have asked: ‘How much work have you had b****?’
Since then Fonda has complained about the question to a number of outlets, and even mocked Kelly’s question on Today last week during an interview with Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb
Fonda was appearing with Lily Tomlin, who said she had known the actress: ‘before her first facelift’.
To which Fonda shot back: ‘Who are you, Megyn Kelly?’
The comments infuriated Kelly who attacked Fonda for her actions during the Vietnam War four decades ago on her now infamous trip to Hanoi.
She also claimed that the actress had yet to apologize for her 1972 tour of North Vietnam. Fonda has stated multiple times that she regrets ever giving off the impression that she did not support US troops.
‘When she first complained publicly after the program, and repeatedly, I chose to say nothing, as my general philosophy is what other people think of me is none of my business,’ said Megyn at the end of her program on Monday.
‘However, Fonda was at it again last week, including right here on NBC, and then again elsewhere. So it’s time to address the poor-me routine.’
‘First, some context. Fonda was on to promote a film about aging. For years she has spoken openly about her joy in giving a cultural face to older women,’ Kelly told her studio audience.
‘Look at her treatment of our military during the Vietnam war, many of our veterans still call her ‘Hanoi Jane’ … for shaming troops,’ said Kelly (Fonda above in Vietnam)
Going hard: ”She called our POW’s ‘hypocrites and liars’ and referred to their torture as understandable,’ Kelly said of Fonda (above an image of Fonda on set)
‘Well, the truth is, most older women look nothing like Fonda, who is now 80. And if Fonda really wants to have an honest discussion about older women’s cultural face, then her plastic surgery is tough to ignore.’
She continued: ‘Fonda herself knows this. She knows this. And that is why, to her credit, she discussed her cosmetic surgery pretty much everywhere before coming on our show.’
‘Look, I gave her the chance to empower other women, young and old, on a subject which she purports to know well and she rejected it. That’s okay. But I have no regrets about the question,’ explained Kelly.
‘Nor am I in the market for a lesson from Jane Fonda on what is and is not appropriate. After all, this is a woman whose name is synonymous with outrage.’
That is when Kelly launched into Fox News mode.
Burn: ‘Megyn Kelly is a moron – spineless wanna be barbie – she sucks and so does her show,’ wrote Rosie O’Donnell
‘Look at her treatment of our military during the Vietnam war, many of our veterans still call her ‘Hanoi Jane’ thanks to her radio broadcasts which attempted to shame American troops. She posed on an anti-aircraft gun used to shoot down our pilots,’ stated Kelly.
‘She called our POW’s ‘hypocrites and liars’ and referred to their torture as understandable. Even she had to apologize years later for that gun picture – but not for the rest of it.’
She then closed out by saying: ‘By the way she still says she’s not proud of America. So, the moral indignation is a little much. She put her plastic surgery out there. She said she wanted to discuss the plight of older women in America. And honestly she has no business lecturing anyone on what qualifies as offensive.’
Kelly’s claim is inaccurate however. Fonda apologized directly to a group of Vietnam veterans in 2015 while appearing at an event in Maryland.
‘Whenever possible I try to sit down with vets and talk with them, because I understand and it makes me sad,’ Fonda told those assembled at the Weinberg Center for Arts according to The Frederick News-Post.
‘It hurts me and it will to my grave that I made a huge, huge mistake that made a lot of people think I was against the soldiers.’
She later described herself as a ‘lightening rod’ to many, like to 50 protesters outside the venue that evening who carried signs reading: ‘Forgive? Maybe. Forget? Never.’
Fonda then explained: ‘This famous person goes and does something that looks like I’m against the troops, which wasn’t true, but it looked that way, and I’m a convenient target. So I understand.’
She did not say she regretted travelling to North Vietnam.
Viewers of The Kelly File might recognize Megyn’s comments from episodes of the host’s Fox News program.
In at least three videos from 2014, Kelly welcomed guests on her program to trash Jane Fonda while also taking some shots of her own at the Oscar winner.
In one interview with Dennis Miller in June of that year, Kelly smiled while saying that ‘things went south’ for the actress after her role in ‘Barbarella.’
She continued to laugh as Miller said that Fonda ‘made sense’ to him when she played the the title character in that film, a voluptuous space traveler from the planet Earth who spent most of her time in little to no clothing.
‘She’s not beloved by a large portion of Americans,’ said Kelly in that interview.
Just a few months before Kelly and Miller went after Fonda and the host also called out then-first lady Michelle Obama for saying she admired the actress’ for being politically savvy.
‘The thing is, if she had just said I want to have a body like Jane Fonda when I’m 76 most women would say, ‘yeah, me too,” said Kelly.
‘But when she named the political savvy and said she was someone she wanted to live like she crossed over into territory where people would criticize her.’
Kelly incensed many from the liberal base, she would often toy with during her years on Fox News, with those comments on Monday, and a host of celebs quickly came to Fonda’s defense.
‘Megyn Kelly is a moron – spineless wanna be barbie – she sucks and so does her show,’ wrote Rosie O’Donnell.
‘What a moron this woman is,’ noted Rosanna Arquette.
There was support for Kelly too, with lawyer and columnist Kurt Schlicter responding to Messing’s tweet by writing: ‘Maybe you should prioritize American heroes, like VADM James Stockdale, who were tortured and sometimes murdered by the communist bastards Hanoi Jane cavorted with, over your Hollywood traitor pal.’
This could be just the controversy Kelly wants though as she tries to drive up viewing figures for the show.
WHY IS JANE FONDA CALLED HANOI JANE?
Jane Fonda was one of the most public faces in the anti-war movement throughout the years that the United States was in Vietnam, but drew the outrage of many in 1972 when she traveled to Hanoi in North Vietnam.
After touring the area and being heavily photographed with the forces that the US were fighting, Fonda publicly attacked her country for bombing farmland and destroying the dyke system which was crucial to feeding much of the population.
The United States denied ever carrying out such an action.
It was the photograph of Fonda on an antiaircraft gun that would have been used to shoot down and destroy American planes before taking any surviving servicemen captives as POWs that truly angered millions, and is still a great source of outrage for some veterans.
Fonda recounted the trip in her memoir
Congress later held hearings to decide if Fonda should be punished for her actions, with many calling her trip an act of treason and the actress a traitor.
At the same time, false reports began to surface also claiming that Fonda spoke with POWs in North Vietnam and relayed the information they shared with her to enemy troops.
Fonda wrote about the infamous antiaircraft gun photo in her 2005 memoir My Life So Far.
‘Someone (I don’t remember who) leads me toward the gun, and I sit down, still laughing, still applauding. It all has nothing to do with where I am sitting. I hardly even think about where I am sitting,’ said Fonda.
‘The cameras flash. I get up, and as I start to walk back to the car with the translator, the implication of what has just happened hits me. Oh, my God. It’s going to look like I was trying to shoot down U.S. planes! I plead with him, You have to be sure those photographs are not published. Please, you can’t let them be published.’
She went on to write: ‘I am assured it will be taken care of. I don’t know what else to do. It is possible that the Vietnamese had it all planned. I will never know. If they did, can I really blame them? The buck stops here.
‘If I was used, I allowed it to happen. It was my mistake, and I have paid and continue to pay a heavy price for it.’