MSNBC's Melissa Harris of MSNBC Refuses to Return to Her Own Show: I Am Not a 'Token' or 'Little Brown Bobble Head'

Melissa Harris of MSNBC Boycotting Own Show, Refuses to be Networks 'Token'
Melissa Harris-Perry
Paul Morigi/WireImage

02/27/2016 AT 12:10 PM EST

MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry is refusing to return to her own show after weeks of halting the series, named after Perry, in exchange for election coverage, according to reports.

The television personality announced her departure in an email to co-workers this week, made public on Friday. In the email Perry said she felt "worthless" to network execs who are reportedly in the process of reconfiguring MSNBC, the New York Times reports.

"Here is the reality: Our show was taken – without comment or discussion or notice – in the midst of an election season," the email read. "After four years of building an audience, developing a brand and developing trust with our viewers, we were effectively and utterly silenced."

According to the newspaper, she continued in the email, placing blame on NBC News chairman Andrew Lack, and MSNBC president Phil Griffin, although she clarified that she wasn't certain of their involvement in the show's hiatus.



"I will not be used as a tool for their purposes," she added. "I am not a token, mammy or little brown bobble head. I am not owned by Lack, Griffin or MSNBC. I love our show. I want it back."

Following the release of her email, Perry interviewed with the Times telling the paper that she wasn't sure if her show has since been cancelled, but that she was still frustrated that her scheduled air time – Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon – had been sacrificed for election coverage. She also clarified that she doesn't believe there are any racial undertones in the problems with the series.

"I don't know if there is a personal racial component," she told the publication. "I don't think anyone is doing something mean to me because I am a black person."

Although she was asked to return to the network this weekend, Perry was still upset that she had not appeared on MSCNBC "for weeks," without having any notice or conversation beforehand.

Perry added in her interview that MSNBC no longer wanting the show was not a problem. Rather, she takes issue with the fact that her show was taken off air without the network notifying anybody.

According to the Washington Times, an NBC News spokesperson later released a statement, giving insight as to why Perry's program had been stalled, adding that hers wasn't the only show to be interrupted.

"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 statement read. "This reaction is really surprising, confusing and disappointing."
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