Hall announced her departure from NBC on Wednesday after the network canceled her entertainment-driven Today hour with Al Roker in order to reportedly make room for Megyn Kelly. The network offered her a new contract, but Hall rejected the deal and opted to walk away from NBC and MSNBC completely.
"NBC has been a leader for diversity in broadcasting, but recent reports that Hall and Roker will be replaced by former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly are being seen by industry professionals as whitewashing," the NABJ said in a statement.
Hall and Roker's hour of the Today show produced reliable and healthy ratings, making NBC's decision even more baffling to the org. "This achievement deserves praise, not punishment, as replacing talent often is associated with low ratings performance," the NABJ continued. "Kelly has a well-documented history of offensive remarks regarding people of color. On The Kelly File, her Fox News show, the host said then-First Lady Michelle Obama's commencement address at Tuskegee University pandered to a "culture of victimization."
The NABJ ended their statement by requesting a meeting with NBC to discuss "the top-rated show's dismantling," along with "black journalists and their continuing roles at NBC both in front and behind the camera."
In response, NBC released a statement that defended their actions without indicating whether they were planning to meet with the NABJ.
"NBC News has a long and proven history as an industry leader in newsroom diversity," read the statement, as obtained by People. "We will continue to engage in the running dialogue we've had for many years with the National Association of Black Journalists and other advocacy groups to advance those goals."