After claiming that there is a “toxic and demeaning” environment on the set of “Megyn Kelly Today,” a top staffer was fired on Tuesday.
Devin Bleyer, a writer on the show who also claimed that workers were suffering “abusive treatment,” was terminated after complaining that Kelly’s two key producers, Jackie Levin and Christine Cataldi, were bullying lower level staff members, Page Six reported.
Bleyer was fired despite the fact that Kelly has made fighting against abuse her personal crusade. Along with his coworkers, Bleyer was recently ordered by NBC to report bad behavior in the workplace — due to the recent Matt Lauer sexual misconduct scandal — supposedly without fear or reprisal.
After sending his complaint via email to the human resources department at NBC News, Bleyer, a multiple Emmy-winning former writer for “The Daily Show” and former speechwriter for President Barack Obama, was fired shortly thereafter.
“I’m sad to say … the executive incompetence continues — as does the dysfunctional management, abusive treatment, maddening hypocrisy, staggering inefficiencies, acidic and deficient communication, and relentless scapegoating,” Bleyer wrote in his email. “Jackie Levin persists in creating a toxic and demeaning environment, and Christine Cataldi enables and reinforces it.”
“It is a special absurdity — and what some find a hard-to-swallow injustice — that as a team we’ve been lauded for covering harassment stories daily on air, while the staff producing those stories feels so embattled and bullied themselves,” Bleyer wrote. “As a result, veteran staffers are looking for the exits … Others have told me they’d ask to be reassigned elsewhere within NBC. I should add that many of those who have confided in me have made it plain: sensitivity training will not suffice. Their feeling is you can’t change these tigers’ stripes.”
Bleyer signaled that he would consider legal action if he was terminated as a result of his complaints.
“I know Jackie and Christine previously intended (and perhaps still do intend) to replace staffers who offer any kind of pushback or speak up for themselves. I have personally overheard these conversations myself. If that happens — if there is any retaliation at all — I anticipate there may be further action through official legal avenues.”
Bleyer did not implicate Kelley, who has spoken against harassment and workplace bullying on her show, in his complaints about “toxic” bullying.
A representative of NBC News said regarding Bleyer’s accusations, “Jackie and Christine are being attacked unfairly. They are both excellent and experienced producers, and have the full support of everyone here.” Of Bleyer, the representative said, “He was let go for one reason only: he was the wrong fit for this role, as a comedy writer at a morning news broadcast.”