A writer for “Megyn Kelly “Today” was fired this week after lodging a formal complaint about what he called the show’s “toxic and demeaning” workplace culture.
Kevin Bleyer, a former “Daily Show” writer and speechwriter for Barack Obama, sent an email to NBC’s human resources department and NBC News chief Noah Oppenheim accusing co-executive producers Jackie Levin and Christine Cataldi of bullying behavior toward staffers.
A person familiar with the matter tells TheWrap the email was sent on Monday shortly after Bleyer learned he was being let go. According to the Daily Mail, which obtained a copy of the email, Bleyer said Levin called her assistant “an idiot” on a regular basis and Cataldi called him as a “f—ing whiner.”
“The executive incompetence continues — as does the dysfunctional management, abusive treatment, maddening hypocrisy, staggering inefficiencies, acidic and deficient communication, and relentless scapegoating,” Bleyer wrote, according to the Mail.
A person familiar with the matter confirmed the basic details of the email. Bleyer did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
In a statement, NBC News hit back strongly, defending Levin and Cataldi and the decision to terminate Bleyer.
“Jackie and Christine are being attacked unfairly. They are both excellent and experienced producers, and have the full support of everyone here. They, and the team, are fully focused on continuing the show’s momentum as it continues to climb in the ratings,” a spokesperson said.
“He was let go for one reason only,” the spokesperson added. “He was the wrong fit for this role, as a comedy writer at a morning news broadcast.”
Since launching last fall, “Megyn Kelly Today” has struggled in the ratings though ironically it has found some traction with shows devoted to the #MeToo movement and individuals accusing prominent people of workplace misconduct.