February 26, 2016 4:31 pm

Melissa Harris-Perry Walks Out on MSNBC Show: “I am not a Token, Mammy, or Little Brown Bobble Head”

by Yvette Carnell

For well over a year (see here and here), I have been predicting the end of a group of black pundits who I derisively refer to as the Negro Whisperers.

MSNBC‘s Rev. Al Sharpton has been relegated to weekends, Joy-Ann Reid’s gone, as well as Goldie Taylor, Touré and now–Melissa Harris-Perry. The chattering class of Democratic apologists are dropping like flies.

According to the New York Times, Harris-Perry is frustrated with pre-emptions at her show and confirmed she will not be returning:

In a phone interview, Ms. Harris-Perry confirmed she would not appear on the show this weekend. She said she had received no word about whether her show, which runs from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays and Sundays, had been canceled, but said she was frustrated that her time slot had faced pre-emptions for coverage of the presidential election. She said she had not appeared on the network at all “for weeks” and that she was mostly sidelined during recent election coverage in South Carolina and New Hampshire. (She was asked to return this weekend.)


In her email, Ms. Harris-Perry wrote that she was not sure if the NBC News chairman, Andrew Lack, or Phil Griffin, the MSNBC president, were involved in the way her show was handled recently, but she directed blame toward both.


“I will not be used as a tool for their purposes,” she wrote. “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.”

“After this election is over, Negroes and all their social and political relevance will be completely purged from mainstream media. These Corporate financed websites will shut down as well. The need for Negro opinion will end when Obama walks out the door,” said Black Agenda Report‘s Pascal Robert when asked about Harris-Perry’s departure.

Jamil Smith published with permission Harris-Perry’s email to her #nerdland staff:

Dearest Nerds,


As you know by now, my name appears on the weekend schedule for MSNBC programming from South Carolina this Saturday and Sunday. I appreciate that many of you responded to this development with relief and enthusiasm. To know that you have missed working with me even a fraction of how much I’ve missed working with all of you is deeply moving. However, as of this morning, I do not have any intention of hosting this weekend. Because this is a decision that affects all of you, I wanted to take a moment to explain my reasoning.


Some unknown decision-maker, presumably Andy Lack or Phil Griffin, has added my name to this spreadsheet, but nothing has changed in the posture of the MSNBC leadership team toward me or toward our show. Putting me on air seems to be a decision being made solely to save face because there is a growing chorus of questions from our viewers about my notable absence from MSNBC coverage. Social media has noted the dramatic change in editorial tone and racial composition of MSNBC’s on-air coverage. In addition, Dylan Byers of CNN has made repeated inquiries with MSNBC’s leadership and with me about the show and what appears to be its cancellation. I have not responded to reporters or social media inquiries. However, I am not willing to appear on air in order to quell concerns about the disappearance of our show and our voice.


Here is the reality: our show was taken?—?without comment or discussion or notice?—?in the midst of an election season. After four years of building an audience, developing a brand, and developing trust with our viewers, we were effectively and utterly silenced. Now, MSNBC would like me to appear for four inconsequential hours to read news that they deem relevant without returning to our team any of the editorial control and authority that makes MHP Show distinctive.


The purpose of this decision seems to be to provide cover for MSNBC, not to provide voice for MHP Show. I will not be used as a tool for their purposes. 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. I have wept more tears than I can count and I find this deeply painful, but I don’t want back on air at any cost. I am only willing to return when that return happens under certain terms.


Undoubtedly, television nurtures the egos of those of us who find ourselves in front of bright lights and big cameras. I am sure ego is informing my own pain in this moment, but there is a level of professional decency, respect, and communication that has been denied this show for years. And the utter insulting absurdity of the past few weeks exceeds anything I can countenance.


I have stayed in the same hotels where MSNBC has been broadcasting in Iowa, in New Hampshire, and in South Carolina, yet I have been shut out from coverage. I have a PhD in political science and have taught American voting and elections at some of the nation’s top universities for nearly two decades, yet I have been deemed less worthy to weigh in than relative novices and certified liars. I have hosted a weekly program on this network for four years and contributed to election coverage on this network for nearly eight years, but no one on the third floor has even returned an email, called me, or initiated or responded to any communication of any kind from me for nearly a month. It is profoundly hurtful to realize that I work for people who find my considerable expertise and editorial judgment valueless to the coverage they are creating.


While MSNBC may believe that I am worthless, I know better. I know who I am. I know why MHP Show is unique and valuable. I will not sell short myself or this show. I am not hungry for empty airtime. I care only about substantive, meaningful, and autonomous work. When we can do that, I will return?—?not a moment earlier. I am deeply sorry for the ways that this decision makes life harder for all of you. You mean more to me than you can imagine.


Yours always,



 Watch the video below where I first predicted this in 2015:



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    Melissa Harris Perry deserves to be treated with respect, as her program is THE BEST & MOST INFORMATIVE POLITICAL PROGRAM ON TELEVISION! Quit jerking her around! Treating MPH with disrespect, yet keeping programs on which the host talks over or shouts down left-leaning guests, is guaranteed failure.
    MSNBC you have become a “wannabe FOX” media outlet. You eliminate programs that had been THE BEST of their genre, and that were of vital interest to the electorate. BUT should have gotten rid of Morning Joe, because it’s a FOX type program. Joe loudly talks over his most intelligent (left-leaning) guests, just as those at FOX do. Years ago we used to watch Morning Joe daily, because he sometimes had guests representing various points of view, & was somewhat informative. But Joe’s fear of offending Donald Trump and Mika’s often saying “He’s a friend of the show…” Made me very embarrassed for them. Then Joe’s ego-maniacal need to talk loudly over guests finally drove me away.
    I cannot even imagine how you can miss that there are so many Liberals who will watch more intelligent political programming, like Melissa Harris Perry’s. There are enough ignorant people in the world without your mimicking FOX by pandering to them with misinformation. If this continues, there will be no reason for me to watch any political programming.

  • TerraJones says:

    I haven’t seen much of her show because I don’t have cable but what I have seen has been amazing and I would prefer it if she had a weekday show, on another network.

  • RobynBlanpied says:

    That’s ‘Doctor’ Perry, thank you?

  • kmkke1yahoocom says:

    Please Ms. Perry stick to your guns …I have no intention of watching that network again. I could not figure out what was happening. The love affair some of your colleagues have with Doanld truump is laughable. the so called liberals…..All I can say is I hope ….They are pathetic…

  • WarrenStallings says:

    She isnt black.  She is a gingersnap half breed….and one that is so liberal that even Lenin would be viewed as a  Reagan conservative.  Wanna talk about white privilege?  She is the epitome of it.  All the while taking in the money, but unable to pay her taxes.  How would a parent feel paying $53,000 per year for tuition at Wake Forest Univ to support the bile emanating from her mouth?

  • FrankLameira says:

    I think MSNBC is so far left they’ve dropped into the Pacific. No thanks!

  • Rick Manigault says:

    I never like the nerds in the first place, this women made a mockery of real issues faced by black people and dumbed them down to tampons and word games, As Carnell described in previous post, it was 6 people sitting around a table in basic agreement with no room for thought. MHP will be remembered like the rest of the race mob, people only capable of conversing about race and the differences in pigmentation among people. I wish some of these folks took the last 7 years as an opportunity to sway my opinion and promote ideas, they wont get another shot.

  • Watchful says:

    The problem as I see it, is that we give ppl like MHP undeserved relevancy as supposedly legitimate representatives of our ppl in the first damn place. When r we gonna stop this nonsense?

  • Johnw11 says:

    In addition to the well-stated fact that her “show” was temporary in the first place — a vehicle for transporting Blacks up and down the highway of psychological underdevelopment, politically speaking — is the fact that her reportedly lukewarm response to Hillary may very well be a factor in MLH’s slightly ahead of schedule demise. Her first-choice candidate was the highly corrupt (Wall-Street employee) Joe Biden. When he didn’t run, MPH was left in the cold.
    While it’s true that MLH has a PhD degree in political science, and is a seasoned university professor, her claim to “Nerd-Dom” and “feminism” appear inconsistent with her observable behavior. 
    First, the application of theory is the proof of theory. In this regard, she should be “nerdy” enough to know that  it was Biden’s bankruptcy legislation (circa 2005) that made it more difficult for regular people to get debt relief from Wall-Street, while making it easier for Wall-Street to rip-off and get debt relief from taxpayers. Student loan debt relief, one of the key socioeconomic factors driving Sanders success with young voters, was made impossible by Joe Biden’s bill. So, by her being a “political expert”  and “nerd,” it is reasonable for one to expect her to know these things. The cause of her behavior then, must lie elsewhere.
    Secondly, her support for Biden causes her claims to be supportive of “feminism” to  become suspect as well. This is particularly true since Anita Hill has accused Biden of sabotaging the (circa 1994) senate judiciary hearing, in order to facilitate the confirmation of Clarence Thomas to become a SCOTUS  member. In those hearings, Hill presented strong evidence that Thomas, while a high ranking staff member at EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) had consistently and vilely violated her feminine rights via  a pattern of sexual harassment.
    ….Meanwhile, on the Clinton con artist and Black ignorance highway, two corrections are needed specify to campaign slogans.
    (1) Clinton’s campaign slogan has a major typographical error. It reads “Fighting For You,” when it more correctly should read “Fighting For Wall-Street.”
    Then, in South Carolina recently, a group of Black Clinton zealots / fanatics held placards that read.. “African Americans For Hillary.” The placards should read.. “African Americans For Their Own Destruction.”

  • Johnw11 says:

    The “editing” of comments process seems to have some kind grudge against me, i.e., rarely allows me to make grammatical and structural corrections. In the process of  taking the time to note that fact, I will also provide source information of the claims I made above.
    1. “Anita Hill: Joe Biden Botched the Clarence Thomas Hearings,” (HuffPost News, 3/20/14).
    2. “Joe Biden’s Forgotten Disgrace,” Jamie Stiehonr (US.S. News and World Report, 4/16/14).
    3. “Joe Biden Backed Bills to Make it Harder for Americans to Reduce Their Student Loan Debt,” David Sirota, et al. (IBT Investigations).
    4.”Clinton Defends Bankruptcy Vote From Senate Career, Saying Biden Played a Role,” John Wagner (Washington Post, 9/17/15).
    So when people like Dr. Cornel West, et al. say that MHP and others have “sold-out” by supporting people like Biden, Clinton, et al., few informed people can find a rational cause for disagreement with the “sell-out” charges made against them.

  • Johnw11 says:

    Watchful  Very sharp observation. On this, we agree.

  • david19082 says:

    MHP is using the tired diversity argument of black people not having a voice at msnbc. News flash black people never had a voice when they had wall to wall negros like her employed at msnbc. Msnbc marketed itself as a left leaning network and these negros were used to carry the water for white liberals who wanted black people to sit down and shut up under Obama’s presidency (sidenote google white liberal Bill Marher calling blacklivesmatter activist a f*ckin idiot for trying to hold white liberal Hillary accountable). This was one of the few blogs that called it years ago along with many in the comment section. The purge of negros at msnbc is complete.

  • CarolinaSistah says:

    Watchful You hit that dead-on!

  • Watchful says:


    I hate to have to admit that it both baffles and disappoints me, that someone like Ms.Carnell, whose views and opinions I respect, seems to find it necessary to try to keep ppl like MHP and Oprah relevant. Oh well, it is what it is.

    BTW, I’ve never even watched one second of MHP’s show and count on one hand the number of times I’ve watched MSNBC … and that was back when I still had cable pre-2005.

  • Watchful says:


    Thx, Sis.

  • Watchful says:


    Well I say good riddance to all of ’em … now, if we could just convince those among us who still watch that channel to refrain from doing so.

  • Watchful says:

    Rick Manigault

    LMAO @ u referring to them as ‘nerds’, Rick. : D

  • Johnw11 says:

    Watchful I have watched less of her show than you. All reports from me about her show come from people I know who tell me what she says. In fact, I watch very little TV period. Show me a person who watches and get their views from TV, and I’ll show you an extremely uniformed person.
    In terms of why would sites like this one focus on MHP and others of her ilk, well, it’s simply to generate discussion and educate in my view. When a meaningful topic that requires critical thinking to engage in is posted, the listening meter shows few participants. But when the topic is about TV celebrities several hundreds are “listening.” It shows that in Black America we have a serious problem, one that if not solved ASAP is going to lead to our demise. That problem is one of ignorance, which causes people to have the wrong priorities.
    At least Ms. Carnell is placing these discussions into their proper context — the Black talking heads are used as long as they are useful to the power elite. Once their usefulness is over, they are discarded like old shoes.
    I think people can learn from such discussions.

  • Johnw11 says:

    david19082  Excellent.

  • Watchful says:


    I suppose u make a valid point as to y these types of topics r posted here, John … and u definitely make a valid point as to our ppl needing to get their priorities straight.

  • PhilBowman says:

    Yea Nappy Head is gone

  • StevenGrigsby says:


  • Rick Manigault says:

    Watchful Now that Perry is officially toast, the purge is complete, I wonder how these types will fit into the new paradigm, A network promoting Hilary centrism will go nowhere.

  • Watchful says:

    Rick Manigault 

    Maybe they’ll end up somewhere like TV One like Roland Martin when he got booted off of CNN or Radio One and join Sharpton. U know how they run to their own kind when massa no longer has use for ’em.

  • ShawnMc1 says:

    Rick Manigault i remember seeing panels like that frequently on her show, all her guest  agrees with each other, no discourse

  • ShawnMc1 says:

    she burned a bridge she could of still utilized.MHP forgot ultimately this is about viewership a ratings, no matter how important you think you are as a social commentator if your not get ratings they will let ya go

  • AMAC7210 says:

    Oh My… Another wanna be Elitist that has been used and abused by the Oppressor.. Now she is seeking our sympathy and support sounds like the Jada Smith scenario.. I don’t have an ounce of sympathy for someone who think she what’s best for our people. I guess she think her PHD allowed her to be our voice. But in typical fashion the Oppressor saw an opportunity to use her to spew their BS agenda hoping that most of us would buy it.. I for one saw right through it.. I find it comical when she said she wasn’t no one Mammie hey Boo new flash you were not only their Mammie but also their Fool for the entire time you were on their show in case you forgot it was their show. Until we Learn Self and Self Worth we will continue to get these frauds self appointing themselves to speak on out behalf because they know what’s good for us.. The only person that should be speaking on your behalf is YOU.. Knowledge of Self is a powerful thing. In closing I hope I never hear another word from this person.. POOF.. POOF..
    BTW… How is that PHD working out for you!!

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