Megyn Kelly has shown herself to be a champion of the #MeToo movement, regularly promoting the brave women fighting injustice on her NBC talk show, "Megyn Kelly Today."
However, a past colleague is saying that it's a ruse.
"She's disrespectful," Fox News makeup artist, Iren Halperin, who retired in 2016 after 20 years, told Page Six. "She's not for women. She's extremely mean and rude to women."
Iren worked with Kelly back in 2009, when she was the co-anchor of "America's Newsroom with Bill Hemmer." She said that Kelly had her makeup done at 8.a.m., but that one day she showed up 30 minutes early and tried to boot a fellow woman reporter out of the chair.
"I told her, 'Please have a seat in the greenroom or start your hair first,' " Halperin explained, but then added. "And she said, 'No. I want to get done and want to get done now.' Megyn snapped her finger and pointed at the reporter and said, 'You, get out of the chair.' " And so the reporter did, and Megyn got her way.
"The next day my boss called me. Megyn went and lied to management and said, '[Iren] can't come in on time because she has child-care issues,'" Halperin continued to Page Six, who is a mother of three, and who started an hour before Megyn's scheduled sessions.
Halperin requested that she be moved to another anchor. A separate Fox employee who spoke to Page Six, also asked for a different assignment due to Kelly's ways. Fox News however did not return Page Six's calls for comment.
"She was difficult and demanding," Halperin said. "And if you didn't do what she wanted, she would try to get you in trouble."
However, now, it seems, that Kelly might be in trouble herself.
Ever since "Megyn Kelly Today" started in NBC's 9 a.m. weekday slot in September, the show has been having difficulty finding its footing in morning news, and her ratings are down, nearly 30 percent lower than her predecessors Tamron Hall and Al Roker.
NBC leadership is becoming weary of her drama, most recently the Jane Fonda patriotism monologue back in January, and a high-ranking NBC veteran said to Page Six that the onset atmosphere is so tense that workers regularly "cry."
The 47-year-old former Fox News anchor has tried to change her image into a warmer figure, dancing with "Today" colleague Hoda Kotb on-air, as well as adding cooking segments and health experts. However, the steadfast and battle-ready style that made her so perfect for Fox, may not be hitting over at NBC or with its morning viewership.
On the first episode of her show, Kelly, who worked at Fox for 13 years, announced that she was "kinda done with politics."
Although, it seems that selling this transformation is a little tougher than it sounds. "You take someone who had a show . . . on Fox about politics and then you say, 'Well that wasn't really me.' That's ridiculous," said TV producer Shelley Ross.
And a show contributor says that producers try not to use her name when booking guests, instead just saying "Today," with the off chance that the big names won't become alienated. But in her first week she upset star Debra Messing after asking a "Will & Grace" fan if it's "true that you became a lawyer — and you became gay — because of Will?" Then asked Jane Fonda about her plastic surgery, which made her uncomfortable, later complaining that it was "weird."
A publicist source told Page Six that Kelly is toxic among the Hollywood crowd. "She's a little rough around the edges for the 'Today' show,'" they said. "It's my job to be smart and plan and I don't think she's a smart move. I won't even let my NBC talent go on her show. She's a loose cannon."
Kelly is currently receiving $23 million a year as part of a three-year deal, but the source added that "the general feeling is that she will not last three years." (NBC did not comment to Page Six for the story.)
The show source continued that "the atmosphere is really negative . . . [producers] just want to get through this."
However, many insiders blame NBC for mishandling Kelly's career by not giving her the right platform to showcase her skills.
"When [Andy Lack, chairman of NBCUniversal News Group] hired Megyn, he told people, 'I have no idea what she'll do, but I've got her,' " the NBC veteran said to Page Six. Meanwhile, a source close to the show explains that this is a "nonsensical claim" and that the chairman did have a plan.
She eventually took over the third hour of "Today," and before her start, NBC introduced her with an evening newsmagazine spot, "Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly."
Things did not begin well as she came under scrutiny for interviewing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who has claimed that the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting never happened.
"She pissed off the audience she needed to be watching 'Megyn Kelly Today,' " said one insider. "How do you not properly position her going into the 'Today' show? You want her to have . . . the most positive image possible, and what do they do? They do the exact opposite."
Right now, "Megyn Kelly Today" is up 18 percent in the 25-to-54 demographic since its launch, however ratings still are not where NBC would like them to be, and it's affecting the 10 a.m. viewership.
The NBC veteran source added that not having Kelly at the Olympics with the other "Today" anchors, "was a sign that [producers] were creating a wall between her and the rest of 'Today.' You can feel Andy [Lack] and Noah [Oppenheim, NBC News president] stepping away from her."
Yet the insider close to the show said that "they are pleased and proud of what she's done so far."
And the celebrity publicist offered: "They need to switch her to specials or investigative reporting. Anything to get her off the 9 o'clock hour."