The “Today” host fired back at “Hanoi Jane” who’s been blasting Kelly for asking about plastic surgery
Megyn Kelly finally went there.
When the former Fox News anchor began hosting the 9am hour of the “Today” Show last year, she had a frosty encounter with actress and activist Jane Fonda, who was on the program promoting “Our Souls at Night,” a film about aging. Kelly asked Fonda if she felt proud about the plastic surgery she’d had done, something that 80-year-old Fonda has spoken about previously, only to be met with a cold response.
Fonda went on to criticize Kelly’s question as a “weird thing to bring up,” and the awkward encounter, among others, is said to have contributed to a ratings dip that Kelly is only slowly recovering from. But after stomaching months of on-off criticism from Fonda— including on an earlier hour of the “Today” show— the NBC host finally smacked back.
“The truth is, most older women look nothing like Fonda,” said Kelly, while playing media of Fonda discussing her past cosmetic work and pointing out that the film she was plugging was also about aging. “I gave her a chance to empower other women, young and old, on a subject which she purports to know well, and she rejected it — that’s okay… but I have no regrets about that question.” She also went on to criticize Fonda’s support of communist troops during the Vietnam War, leading to her infamous moniker “Hanoi Jane.”
— Megyn Kelly TODAY (@MegynTODAY) January 22, 2018
Kelly is not the first on-air personality to have feuded with a colleague or peer. Model-turned-actress Kelly Rohrbach, who starred as C.J. Parker in last summer’s Hollywood flop “Baywatch”, apparently turned up for filming with a prima donna attitude. Page Six cites an anonymous studio source saying that there was “no love lost between her and the rest of the cast,” which included Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron and Priyanka Chopra. “Kelly didn’t hang out with everyone. She didn’t make any friends,” the person told the New York Post’s gossip page. “She thinks she’s a major star, and she’s just a model who dated Leo” DiCaprio. (A representative for Rohrbach didn’t immediately return a request for comment.)
You don’t have to be an oft-photographed celeb to become an outcast at work. Luckily, management experts say that there are relatively straightforward ways to turn things around.
First though, it’s important to ask if you actually want to do anything. New York career counselor Roy Cohen says that sometimes it’s “a waste of time” to worry about certain colleagues not liking you, especially if they’re just jealous. For someone like Rohrbach, who dated one of Hollywood’s biggest stars and was featured in a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, there’s sure to be a little of that going on.
If you do feel partially at fault for animosity targeted at you, it may be smart to invite out the ringleader of your enemy club for a chat. “You say maybe I caused a misunderstanding, but this is what I’m going to do to address it,” says Debra Benton, co-author of “The Leadership Mind Switch.” “If it’s appropriate, apologize.” However, this doesn’t necessarily mean being a pushover, since things are rarely entirely your fault. “You can say you’re sorry for coming across too strong” as Rohrbach may have been, says Benton. “But you should tell them you’re always going to be strong.”
Once the social niceties are over, the hard work begins. This is especially true if you’ve been perceived as having slacked off at work: you’re now going to have to come early and stay late. “There’s always a social balance we expect,” says Benton. “You may have to overdo things for a time and volunteer for things no one wants to do. But don’t do it begrudgingly.”
Cohen for one, recommends stepping up when a colleague is out sick or in need of help. “Small gestures go a long way,” says the author of “The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide.” “People are going to see you as much more collaborative.”
This story was updated on January 22, 2018 with news of Megyn Kelly’s comments.
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