Megyn Kelly Show Finds Momentum By Tackling Sexual Harassment
After a rocky start, the host has attracted more viewers thanks to an unapologetic defense of women.
October may have marked a key turning point for the struggling Megyn Kelly Show. And it looks like the host’s direct confrontation of sexual harassment in the workplace is what forged a connection with more viewers.
On October 10, Kelly first struck back at comments made by fashion designer Donna Karan.”I don’t give a damn if a woman shows up in a bikini to the office. That doesn’t invite or make it okay for her superior to harass her,” Kelly said, noted Variety. Karan, a longtime friend of Harvey Weinstein, had suggested in an interview that women invite sexual assault through provocative dress.
“How about we not pile on, Donna?” asked Kelly. She then railed against “rich, powerful, well-connected fashion moguls lecturing [women] on their clothing choices,” writes Variety, before saying, “And speaking of fashion choices, here’s one for you: I’m done with Donna Karan.”
Kelly’s show had gotten off to a rocky start the month before, drawing a lot of scrutiny and criticism. But recently, she has shifted more focus to matters of sexual abuse and gender inequality, getting interviews with victims making allegations about Bill O’Reilly, Harvey Weinstein, and Mark Halperin.
According to Variety, audiences have noticed, and responded. During the week of October 23—when Kelly publicly called out Bill O’Reilly, saying she had complained to Fox News management about his sexual harassment while also sharing the email she wrote about it—viewership for the program among people between ages 25 and 53, rose 11 percent from the week before. Overall viewership for the Megyn Kelly Show grew 10 percent to about 2.34 million in that same time period.
The show still faces many challenges, but Variety writes that viewers may be warming to Kelly’s takes on some of the hottest topics of the day. She will continue to have celebrities and recent authors of tell-alls and memoirs on the show. Her show has even had musical segments. But to do well, she will have to continue to piece together the Kelly that viewers know and like with the one less well-known.
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