Curry broke down in tears as she said goodbye on air: "For all of you who saw me as a groundbreaker: I'm sorry I couldn't carry the ball over the finish line, but man, I did try!" I'm old enough to have lived through Amos "n" Andy where you had white people in blackface playing two black characters just magnifying the stereotypes about black people.
"But what is racist?" she wondered aloud.
Kelly, 47, would have been of Halloween costume age about, say 40-ish years ago, in the 70's. One worker called Kelly's on-air behavior, specifically her interactions with actress Jane Fonda, "very un-Today show like". Kelly had publically sided with Farrow, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning story about now-disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein's sexual misconduct was spiked by NBC suits. Sources earlier in the week said that Kelly was likely to leave the company.
"While she apologised to the staff, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country", said veteran NBC weatherman Al Roker, who is black.
No details on who or what will replace Kelly's morning show were immediately available.
"I didn't want to do it at this time, I don't want her to think that I'm trying to get an interview or I'm trying to capitalize or exploit it", she explained.
Her lawyer, Bryan Freedman, said Friday that she remains an employee of NBC and "discussions about next steps are continuing".
Kelly earned fame as a longtime anchor for Fox News, notably sparring with Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election campaign. She is not welcome back at her former home, Fox News, which she left on sour terms. "I can not believe the ignorance on this in 2018", wrote "Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi.
"There was some criticism yesterday online that this was political correctness run amok", co-host Craig Melvin added.
NBC didn't address the status of Kelly or her multimillion-contract with the network.
"I'm going to go as "F" and he's going to go as 'U, ' she said".
Kelly was supposed to help NBC appeal to Americans on the left and the right, but all she did was perpetuate the risky ignorance and anxiety many white Americans feel in an increasingly diverse America.
It was not the first time "Today" had faced this kind of drama: The shake-up reminded people of Ann Curry's disastrous 2012 exit, which many blamed partially on her co-host Matt Lauer. She also highlighted harassment allegations against Tom Brokaw, the legendary NBC anchor, which he denied. She has clashed with colleagues and management, and her morning program has received mediocre ratings, The New York Times reported on Friday.